apccsWith an estimated 20%-40% of police time spent on mental health related incidents, a new briefing by charity Revolving Doors Agency has highlighted "promising" work by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to improve responses for people facing mental health problems.

One in four people experience a mental health problem in their lifetime according to statistics while research suggests 72% of prisoners face two or more mental health problems.

Published during Mental Health Awareness Week, the charity's briefing is designed to highlight promising practice among PCCs which could be replicated in other areas.

Christina Marriott, Chief Executive at Revolving Doors Agency, said: “With the General Election result in, we now know that Police and Crime Commissioners will continue to hold an important place in the local landscape. Important progress has been made at a national level recently, including the ongoing national rollout of mental health liaison and diversion services and the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat.

"However, with a strategic partnership and commissioning role that is only likely to grow, PCCs are in an important position to help champion this work locally, and to push further on challenging issues such as improving pathways into support for those facing multiple and complex needs, and ensuring more intensive and coordinated support is available for those identified as using crisis services repeatedly. By working in partnership to deliver better interventions, PCCs can both improve outcomes for individuals and reduce demand on their police force."

Examples of good practice highlighted in the report include:
· Greater Manchester – where the PCC is leading improved partnership working through the Greater Manchester Strategic Mental Health Partnership board, including access to a 24/7 mental health 'triage' phone advice service; plans for improved coordination of follow-on support through a Navigation Pathways programme; and the rollout of a successful approach that works intensively with clients who use crisis services repeatedly.
· Norfolk – Where the PCC has funded a comprehensive offender health profile, including a focus on mental health, which identified key issues and gaps in provision. This has led to the establishment of an offender health focused group on the Health and Wellbeing Board to improve integration of commissioning, and a focus on improved pathways for female offenders with personality disorders.
· Staffordshire - Where the PCC conducted research to understand the level of demand mental health incidents place of the police, and has reviewed strategic partnership arrangements to develop new governance structures and hold partners to account more effectively.

The briefing is available to download in full at: www.revolving-doors.org.uk/documents/pcc-spotlight-mental-health/