Staffordshire Police: Mental Health Training Events
By Diane Malkin, Vulnerability Manager, Thematic Lead for Vulnerability and Mental Health, Staffordshire Police
As part of Staffordshire Police mental health training approx 3 years ago the Force, along with 3 other Forces, worked alongside the College of Policing to create a training product. This 2 day training package was embedded in to the Force and has seen almost 1,000 Officers and staff complete the course. As a Force we are holding 4 events from April to July across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent whereby Officers and staff have the opportunity to come along and listen to the stories of people with lived experience and also to link in with local service providers.
Staffordshire Police are committed to ensure that Officers and staff receive the best training and development that they can provide and from this training we have listened to feedback and suggestions. We have listened to comments and feedback regarding having more development within what is for the Force a busy and sometimes complex area of demand.
As a Force we have worked hard over the last 4 years to improve the way we deal with mental health, this has seen great improvements in many areas including:
- Reducing the number of people detained under Section 136 going to Custody
- Working alongside the College of Policing to create Mental Health Training and Vulnerability training
- Working with partners to reduce the amount of numbers Officers had to ring to get a service response
- Having mental health single points of access within key business areas such as custody, response, safeguarding and learning and development
- Upskilling PCSO’s to be able to work with vulnerable people within our communities that need support for their mental health through primary and secondary services
- Creating policies and protocols that allow us to work in partnership with services to allow information sharing to enhance our decision making
We are grateful to those services including VOICES and Expert Citizens, that have attended the events, taking time out of their busy schedules to be there. These services are local to the area in which we work and form a strong part of our partnership working. At the events there is the opportunity to speak to operational leads about the services they offer, their referral pathways, how and when we can contact them and how they can support us when dealing with members of the public.
Secondly special thanks to our guest speakers those people who share their stories with us in the hope that we will gain more understanding. There is rich evidence that people who have experience of using services are uniquely placed to help plan and develop services. Service users and their carers are ideally placed to educate and de-stigmatise the issue of mental health.
Experts and professionals have essential skills and knowledge, but most decision-makers would recognise that those who have personal experience of living with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia or other mental health challenges can bring something special and different.
When asked to participate in these events both services and our guest speakers showed no hesitation in coming along and offering their support to make these events as successful and fulfilling as possible and for that we are very grateful.