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999: What's Your Emergency? (Mental Health) Watch

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    So I was really intrigued to watch this week's (at the time of writing) '999: Whats Your Emergency' episode - they focus on a different topic each week and this week the focus was on 'Mental Health'

    The first thing that struck me was that Cheshire emergency services are trialling have a mental health nurse out with them. If the paramedics deem someone to not have capacity, they can get this nurse to come out and assess the patient which I thought was really interesting and shows that maybe mental health is starting to be taken seriously.

    There was quite a big focus on a patient called Peter. He was handcuffed and taken to hospital against his will under Mental Capacity Act because he believed in demons and angels. Kept under observation for 2 hours before he was released and later on in the episode, it comes back to him believing he was chased and someone who worked for a charity that looked after him. For someone who also suffers from a mental health problem, it was quite disturbing and saddening to see someone restrained with handcuffs because how agitated they were getting :/

    Lastly, there was a patient who requested to be taken to A&E by the police officers who had been sent to deal with her and it was evident from the start they needed urgent psychiatric help however at the time were no free beds in the whole of the North-West, which just shows the state of mental health care in this country. I felt for the policemen because their hands were tied. They couldn’t do anything to physically help but you could tell they wanted to.

    What do people think about Cheshire emergency services trialling having a mental health nurse out with them? Was putting Peter in handcuffs the right way to deal with a mental health patient who was evidently getting more agitated with people telling him he wasn't okay even though he believed he was? Do you feel as though our emergency services get enough training to deal with mental health calls?
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    I watched this and felt really sorry for the lady. The impression I got was that the police officers with her, didn't really know what to do. It seemed that they're not really trained in mental health and how to deal with someone.
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    I watched this and felt really sorry for the lady. The impression I got was that the police officers with her, didn't really know what to do. It seemed that they're not really trained in mental health and how to deal with someone.
    Mmmm. She seemed to be really, really troubled :/ A&E wasn't the place for her either but where else could they have taken her? Given they're dealing with it on a more regular basis, I feel as though some basic mental health awareness training could be useful for them. It came across as though they were completely out of their depth.
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    I understand that seeing someone be handcuffed for mental health stuff can be distressing but what I remember from that is actually how compassionate the police officers were. They didn't strong arm him and they spoke to him very calmly as they were placing the cuffs on. With them, it felt like the cuffs were being placed to keep the patient safe and not because the police didn't know what else to do.

    I think the police do a fab job with very little training. When I talked someone down from a bridge, I saw first hand how police try to deal with mental health problems. It's tough for them. They are the authority figure and just them arriving can create a situation where the person becomes more agitated and dangerous towards themselves and others. In my experience as well, they've also spent time driving to an incident which could result in seeing at least one dead person. (Someone had recently jumped from that spot so it was keenly on their mind when they got the call through) They're thinking about all the possibilities and the adrenaline building.

    The police were fab with me. They took statement and debriefed me. Using their years of experience to really calm me down - I didn't feel anxious or agitated, but the adrenaline was there and needed slowly bringing down.

    --

    I work in a profession that often deals with the overspill from the NHS, whose arms are tied. There's not enough money to offer what the majority of people working in the NHS want to offer. They're overstretched and often with unmanageable case loads. I wish they would pump money into the system
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    They actually do this in Nottingham too as I know the police have had a mental health professional driving round that they asked to come and speak to me previously. I think it's a good idea as otherwise they might have made me go to A&E which I didn't want. I think it's really sad the absolute lack of funding just breaks my heart constantly as I see countless people who need help and can't get it just because of money. Part of the problem is they try and go on about the whole "care in the community" thing over hospital treatment, which yeah I agree with (as long as it's appropriate obviously) but there isn't enough funding to provide that care so people just fall through the gaps.
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    (Original post by Deyesy)
    So I was really intrigued to watch this week's (at the time of writing) '999: Whats Your Emergency' episode - they focus on a different topic each week and this week the focus was on 'Mental Health'

    The first thing that struck me was that Cheshire emergency services are trialling have a mental health nurse out with them. If the paramedics deem someone to not have capacity, they can get this nurse to come out and assess the patient which I thought was really interesting and shows that maybe mental health is starting to be taken seriously.

    There was quite a big focus on a patient called Peter. He was handcuffed and taken to hospital against his will under Mental Capacity Act because he believed in demons and angels. Kept under observation for 2 hours before he was released and later on in the episode, it comes back to him believing he was chased and someone who worked for a charity that looked after him. For someone who also suffers from a mental health problem, it was quite disturbing and saddening to see someone restrained with handcuffs because how agitated they were getting :/

    Lastly, there was a patient who requested to be taken to A&E by the police officers who had been sent to deal with her and it was evident from the start they needed urgent psychiatric help however at the time were no free beds in the whole of the North-West, which just shows the state of mental health care in this country. I felt for the policemen because their hands were tied. They couldn’t do anything to physically help but you could tell they wanted to.

    What do people think about Cheshire emergency services trialling having a mental health nurse out with them? Was putting Peter in handcuffs the right way to deal with a mental health patient who was evidently getting more agitated with people telling him he wasn't okay even though he believed he was? Do you feel as though our emergency services get enough training to deal with mental health calls?
    I haven't seen the programme. But the street triage scheme (a nurse responding with a PC) has been successful in many areas, reducing the use of section 136s. Which is obviously good for service users freedom! Personally I would like to see social workers alongside nurses used in the street triage scheme, however that may come in time.

    I've been restrained and placed in handcuffs a number of times by police. It isn't nice, however in my experience they only restrain when needed and it is needed some times. When people are so agitated that they pose a risk to themselves or others I think it is justified.

    I would agree. I do not think police receive enough training. Some don't even understand the use of the mental health act correctly, leading to illegal detentions. However, I don't think that we should come to the illusion that training officers more is the only answer. I think that is needed in combination in increased street triage patrols.


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    That last part is so ****ing sad. People in desperate need of help are just being completely turned away and neglected, and most of the country seems to not even have a problem with that.
 
 
 
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