In recent years the need for more effective and timely support for people experiencing a mental health crisis has become an area of growing concern. Effective crisis care involves more than timely access to high quality treatment for a person whilst they are in crisis. Access to a choice of support before a person reaches crisis needs to be improved, as does support to live and stay well.
Improvements have been made in the reduction of the use of police cells as places of safety for a person in crisis and inappropriate use of physical restraint, but there is much more that needs to be done to ensure that wherever a person in mental health crisis turns for safety, they are treated with the same urgency and consideration as someone in a physical health crisis and supported to access the services they need. This requires co-operation and collaboration across emergency services, health and care services, police forces and community based services.
Since February 2012 the Crisis Care Concordat has been instrumental in influencing change and encouraging local agencies to work together on an action plan that will better support people in crisis. The voluntary and community sector have played a key part in this, offering a number of cost efficient support models for those perceived to be at risk of or in a crisis. Association of Mental Health Providers works to ensure commissioners and providers keep looking at a developing a range of options for people who require urgent care, emphasising the voluntary and community sector’s role in supporting better mental health crisis care. Read MHPF’s paper on crisis care and the voluntary and community sector offering here.