Greater Manchester Police is holding a series of events in support of Mental Health Awareness Week, which began today (Monday 12 May). Throughout the week the force is teaming up with mental health professionals across the region to raise awareness of mental health issues, and continue their work in supporting and safeguarding sufferers.
Commencing today with a launch event at GMP’s North Manchester Headquarters, the week of activity will raise awareness of mental health issues and how supporting agencies are working together to deliver more holistic and appropriate support for those in their care.
Throughout the week, representatives from Greater Manchester Police will be joined by the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle, representatives from the Self Help Service, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and other local agencies will be hosting coffee mornings and drop in sessions for the public, as well as training and networking opportunities for staff to get a greater understanding of the options open to them when they are working with vulnerable people.
Chief Inspector Patrick McKelvey from GMP said: “We are delighted to support the national campaign this week – it is a very important area and one which we are wholeheartedly committed to.
“Truth be told, every week is Mental Health Awareness Week for us as we have been working alongside experts in the field for some time to open up new pathways to the right care and support, as well as helping to remove the stigma attached to mental health problems.
“As well as gaining a greater understanding of the care pathways for people who come into our custody with mental health issues, we have designed a front line response by training response officers to be Crisis Intervention Officers.
“They will be the first responders to people suffering from mental health issues and in crisis. Through extra training and access to support services they will provide immediate care for individuals – this will help many people and provide them with care and not custody.”
Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Officer of Self Help Services, said: “As a key provider of mental health services in Manchester, we are delighted that GMP and other statutory organisations are coming together to support this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
“Mental health is and should be everyone’s issue, and in joining forces we are demonstrating our commitment to working in an integrated manner to deliver better and more responsive services for people experiencing mental health issues.”
Greater Manchester Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle added: “Greater Manchester is making great strides in providing care for vulnerable people but there is still much more to do. As police, health care providers and members of the community, we all have to ensure that vulnerable individuals receive the appropriate support they require not just today but every day in the future.
“Mental Health Awareness Week presents an opportunity for a renewed commitment to working together, as we look at how to improve care for the most vulnerable members of our community.”