Norman LambCommissioners, providers, police, local authority and other services and agencies have come together in Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Suffolk to pledge to improve the support available for people in mental health crisis.

These are the first 3 local Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat declarations to be signed and submitted to the national concordat website.

Speaking about the new concordats, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: "Improving mental health crisis care is a major priority and our Crisis Care Concordat helps make sure people in distress get the urgent, compassionate care they need.

“We want to see every area signing a crisis care declaration by the end of the year and I congratulate Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Suffolk for leading the way. Better, more consistent and more collaborative care for people in crisis will not only help those living through their darkest hours to recover, it can also save lives.”

In February, 22 national bodies involved in health, policing, social care, housing, local government and the third sector came together and signed the concordat. It focuses on four main areas: access to support before crisis point, urgent and emergency access to crisis care, quality of treatment and care when in crisis, and recovery and staying well.

Work is now underway to ensure that local declarations are made across England. Mental health charity Mind is leading a programme of work to bring relevant organisations together through a series of regional events - view for more information.

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Once local declarations have been made they are submitted to the concordat website, which includes a map showing where progress has been made. Local signatories must then develop an action plan that sets out in detail how they will improve support for people in mental health crisis.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, added: “We are really pleased to see organisations getting together locally and taking the first steps toward improving the care of people in mental health crisis. We know that where excellent crisis care exists, it saves lives but too often people fall through the cracks between different services and don’t get the help they need. Local health services, local authorities, the criminal justice system and voluntary organisations must plan a joined-up service and learn from each other to truly provide the best possible care.

“We are proud to play a part in driving the concordat forward a local level and we know that, despite the challenges facing our public services at the moment, the will is there to work more closely together and provide a better emergency response for people with mental health problems. We hope that these first three declarations, in Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Suffolk, will inspire other organisations to start talking to each other and working out how they can do the same.”

Upcoming regional events include the Southeast (October 15), London (October 16) and the Northeast (November 12). There will also be a National Summit on November 27. For information about these events, visit