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Police (Response to Individuals Experiencing Mental Ill Health)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 5th December 2019.

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Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

I thank John Mason for raising this important issue.

The Scottish Government, Police Scotland and partners are committed to working together to ensure that the right service provides the right response for individuals experiencing mental ill health. It is widely recognised that Police Scotland plays a significant role in assisting and safeguarding individuals who present to services in emotional or mental health-related distress or who are vulnerable in a variety of ways.

We have a collective responsibility to address the complex issues that arise from mental ill health. Police Scotland is working hard with partners to gain a clear picture of mental health-related demand so that we can fully understand the demand that is placed on our front-line officers and, importantly, so that we can work together to deliver the best outcomes for individuals.

We are continuing to deliver on the commitment that is set out in our programme for government to develop a 21st century approach to adult mental health. That includes our intention to establish a new adult mental health collaborative and the creation of the new multi-agency distress intervention group to develop and oversee new approaches to improving collaborative responses to distress. We are also on course to deliver our commitment to 800 additional mental health workers in four priority settings: accident and emergency, general practices, custody suites and prisons.