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SANE comment on rise in the number of people sectioned by police
Added: 21st Nov 2019

Please find below comment from Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, on Home Office figures showing a significant rise in the number of people sectioned by police under the Mental Health Act:

Unfair on patients and the police

“Despite government pledges to have fewer people detained under the Mental Health Act, it is deeply concerning that numbers are actually rising.

“The police, many of whom are aware they are not sufficiently trained in mental health, spend more than a third of their time responding to people in acute distress, faced with a Hobson’s choice, leaving them at risk or detaining them under section, where they may be stripped of their possessions, placed in custody suites, or driven miles away to one of the few available psychiatric beds.

“The proposed reforms of the Mental Health Act will not succeed until we rebuild the mental health workforce and provide enough places for people in crisis to be assessed and cared for. The current situation is unfair on both patients and the police.”

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