#StopSIM - Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM and conduct an independent review

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This petition was started by the StopSIM Coalition. We are a group of mental health service users, survivors and allies calling on NHS England to halt the development and rollout of ‘Serenity Integrated Mentoring’ (SIM), created by the ‘High Intensity Network (HIN), with immediate effect, and to conduct an independent review. We believe that SIM is an unacceptable step backwards in disability justice and has the effect of criminalising mental distress/illness. 

SIM is a model of mental healthcare targeted towards some of the most mentally unwell individuals in our communities, who frequently come into contact with emergency services while in crisis. SIM refers to these individuals as “High Intensity Users” and claims that they place an “unnecessary financial burden” on the NHS. 

Despite being at very high risk of self-harm or suicide, individuals under SIM have “crisis response plans” that prevent them from accessing potentially life-saving treatment from the usual places that people are able to seek support during a crisis. This includes: ambulance services, A&E, mental health crisis services, community mental health teams and the police. 

Additionally, the SIM model is heavily reliant on the “coercive” powers of the police to enforce “behavioural responsibility” and “behavioural management” on “High Intensity Users”. “High Intensity Officers” are placed in mental health teams and have full access to the individual's medical records, with or without their consent. Messages such as: “We are responsible for the consequences of our actions and we need you to understand what the consequences of your actions will be if they continue” are “compassionately, but firmly reinforced over the course of several weeks/months.”

The focus of SIM is on reducing service demand (how frequently people come into contact with emergency services), not the patients’ well-being or experience. Indeed, we believe this program will have the effect of re-traumatising individuals. SIM does not use any outcome measures (data that measures the success of the programme) that are commonly used in community mental health services to assess changes in the individuals mental well-being. 

We ask you to sign this petition, calling on NHS England to:

  1. Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM with immediate effect, as well as interventions operating under a different name, which are associated with the High Intensity Network (HIN).
  2. Conduct an independent review and evaluation of SIM in regards to its evidence base, safety, legality, ethics, governance and acceptability to service users.

A full petition statement including references can be found on our website: www.stopsim.co.uk along with statements we have released about SIM. You can also follow @StopSIMMH on Twitter and Instagram.