Letter To The Editor: Helping People With Mental Health Crises

Dear Editor

Every year many people have mental health crises, but don’t get the help they need.

We must ensure that professionals like the police are fully trained, and that organisations such as Social Services and the NHS work together effectively.

The good news is that the Lib Dems in government have succeeded in getting local authorities and the most important London organisations in this field to sign the “Crisis Care Concordat” - an agreement on how they can develop ways to help front line staff provide better responses to people in crisis.

The Crisis Care Concordat commits organisations to:

  • 24hr access to mental health support.
  • Urgent access to mental health treatment - just like A&E provides for physical health.
  • Quality of treatment and care when in crisis - particularly with respect and dignity. Too many people, for instance, are put in police cells when they just need medical treatment.
  • Recovery and staying well - so that people are supported in getting better, and staying better.

But we must turn these good intentions into action. There is a London-wide petition to encourage the relevant organisations to take the action they've committed to. The petition can be signed here: http://www.londonlibdems.org.uk/better_mental_health_for_london

Anthony Fairclough
Vice Chair, London Region Liberal Democrats
126 Merton Hall Road
SW19 3PZ

December 19, 2014