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New project to tackle mental health issues

NEW TRAINING: Police officers, health professionals and social workers are to get mental health first aid training

HUNDREDS OF people including police officers, health professionals and social workers are to get mental health first aid training.

The aim of the £60,000 scheme is to better support people with mental health problems.

Cash for the three-year project has come from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Leicester City and Leicestershire County Councils.

It will allow 12 professionals from different agencies, including housing staff and those working in the voluntary sector, to be trained.

The 12 instructors will then deliver the training to around 600 colleagues.

Sir Clive Loader, Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “At least one in four people will be living with a mental health condition at some point in their life so I want to ensure they receive the best, most appropriate and timely service possible from all agencies with whom they may come into contact.

“We know that a lot of people who come into contact with the police have identifiable mental health issues.

“With this training we might get some different outcomes and see people dealt with in a more compassionate way.

"We are already leading the way, being one of the first forces in the country to bring in triage cars where mental health professionals work with officers."

Rod Moore, acting director of public health at Leicester City Council, said he believed the scheme would help bring mental health issues more into the open and reduce stigma and discrimination.

Councillor Ernie White, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet member for health, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to join forces with health, police, district council and voluntary sector colleagues in jointly addressing the mental health needs of people who come into contact with front line workers on a daily basis."

Leicestershire Police is working with charity Combat Stress to better support former and serving members of the Armed Forces, while Pc Alex Crisp, mental health partnership development manager at the Police and Crime Commissioner's office, is visiting the US and Canada to learn about emergency responses to mental illness.

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