Police on shift at mental health unit

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An North Lincolnshire-based health unit is working in partnership with Humberside Police to give them greater knowledge in how it supports people who are experiencing problems with their mental health.

The initiative at Great Oaks on Ashby High Street sees police officers spending a shift at the unit, which provides adult inpatient care to adults, and is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

RDaSH Modern Matron Jo Lloyd said: “Police officers have the power to remove someone with an apparent mental health need from a public space and bring them to a place of safety, which is usually the point where our two services come into contact.

“We invited Humberside Police to come along and spend time with our staff to find out what happens after a patient comes into our care, along with how we support them through our service.”

She added: “We hope this joint working will benefit officers - professionally and personally – by raising awareness and understanding of the needs of people with mental health conditions, and providing advice on supporting members of the public, themselves and their colleagues who may be struggling with their mental health.

“It’s an excellent example of inter-agency working and the feedback from everyone involved is they found it extremely beneficial.”

Chief Inspector Jenny Bristow who oversees Community Policing in North Lincolnshire said: “Mental Health awareness features prominently in the training we provide for our officers and we are therefore pleased to support this initiative which offers valuable additional learning.

“Many of our interactions bring us into contact with people who are experiencing mental health issues. This opportunity, along with other schemes we are involved in will build upon our internal training and allow us to gain a greater insight and improved understanding both professionally and personally.”