Mental health and policing interventions: implementation and impact – 2018

Interactions between individuals experiencing mental health (MH) problems and the police are complex and may affect the way in which both parties react to and experience the interactions. The purpose of this paper is to examine three commonly used interventions to improve these interactions.

Mixed methods were used to examine embedded MH professionals in command and control rooms, Liaison and Diversion Teams and Street Triage. The authors also reviewed the use of Section 136 (s136) of the Mental Health Act 1983 (2007) during the period these interventions were deployed.

There was strong support for these interventions but also gaps, resource and operational issues that need to be addressed if they are to have optimal effect on delivering appropriate diversion from the justice system, reduce reoffending and improve MH outcomes for individuals. The use of s136 remained relatively constant.

Despite a recent increase in the level of investment related to these interventions the evidence base remains limited. This study provides baseline of research evidence for those who commission and provide services for individuals experiencing mental ill health and who are in contact with the justice system.

Eddie Kane, Emily Evans
Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 23 Issue: 2, 2018