Mental health network

Sean Duggan: Royal Assent of the Policing and Crime Bill is a step forward for coordinated mental health support

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Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network, has welcomed today's (31 January 2017) Royal Assent of the Policing And Crime Bill while cautioning about the challenge ahead:

"This Act is an encouraging step forward because it gives police more powers to provide dignified, high quality support in the initial stages of a person's mental health crisis. Early access to a health professional and a more suitable environment than a jail cell is an important factor in a person's recovery.

"While the Act is undoubtedly strong, huge pressures on both mental health and policing will make it challenging to fully implement. Staffing levels in mental health are extremely hard pushed because promised Government funding is slow to reach the frontline.

"Good mental health requires the police, the NHS, schools and housing services to work better together. It’s vital we embrace these opportunities and make it happen.”

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