Create a 5th Emergency Service for Mental Health Crisis Intervention

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Earlier this year my husband had a mental health crisis. It happened on a Friday night and I had nowhere to turn. All I needed was some someone to come and help me or advise me, but it was then I realised that there is no proper support for mental health emergencies in this country. This is why I’m calling for mental health crisis intervention to be the fifth emergency service (After the Ambulance, Police, Fire and Coastguard services)

My husband suffers from social phobia, agoraphobia and psychosis. So when I called the health services I was told to take him to A&E in the hope that they could find a bed for him. This might have worked if it was a physical injury, but for someone with my husband’s condition this would simply not have been possible.

I just hate the thought of how many people go through this every day - a service that is on call for people in this scenario is essential to help save lives.

Sometimes the only choice people see is to attempt to end the pain by taking their own life, simply because the help is not there. Community treatment is for the lucky few, and services are cut back so regularly from those that need them. 

Mental health issues arise 24/7 and the lack of a dedicated emergency services creates strains upon other areas - Police, Ambulance and Fire Services. Not a shift will go by without a paramedic or police officer having to deal with mental health issues they are not fully trained to deal with, because their funding has been reduced too.

I propose an Emergency Service specifically for those in Mental Health Crisis that would offer:

  • Trained 24/7 teams that are mobile and able to attend incidents of Mental Health Crisis.
  • Call handlers trained in these issues to provide instant talking therapy and aid in referring to the on-call mental health team
  • Mental Health First Aid and hold power of detention for safety; able to provide urgent medical care
  • Designated safe spaces and mental health beds; places where those in Mental Health Crisis can spend time to get help
  • A fleet of teams containing one nurse, one police officer and one mental health practitioner - able to deal with multi-disciplinary approaches and care.

I understand this will cost money; but I believe that cost will be counteracted in time and money saved by reducing strain on other services dealing with these issues. It will also help reduce waiting lists for services during which time conditions may worsen.

Please sign my petition for a Mental Health Emergency Service.