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*Police no longer going out to Mental health crises?* - An interview with Kofi

Kofi is a man who has bipolar and has had various hospital admissions throughout his teens.

( just to state- neither of us in this blog post are professionals, we are individuals who have formed our own opinions)

Interviewer- police will no longer be going out to mental health call outs when there is a crisis. What's your opinion on this?

Kofi- well I was talking about this really with you the other day Zo. It's all good stopping the system but what are they going to replace it with? Because there's going to be a massive gap. I was reading earlier on this morning, the police commissioner Mark Rowley is giving them three months before it's implemented, but in that space of time as well all know the NHS is stretched with resources. The police are the ones helping them also the police are the ones that can section people in the public other than the NHS Staff and the doctors so there's going to be a big gap.

Interviewer- yes because the NHS staff are already stretched

Kofi- Exactly that's what I mean so where are they going to find the staff and come up with a new system to plug the gap

Interviewer- yes true do they need to create another role as in someone else to intervene, do you think maybe the police just need to be trained or they need to hire more staff? What can be done?

Kofi- well the commissioner Mark Rowley is saying that there's no resources because of government funding. The same reason why people are on strike. They are striking not just because of pay but also because of funding for resources for example teachers. If the budget is reduced then it creates a poorer system. So I think Mark Rowley has done it because he's trying to highlight the poor funding they get from the government. But they are not thinking about the people who will suffer the most. That's the problem in society nowadays people from the top are making decisions that doesn't affect them so how can they come out with these rules. Even the other day I was walking in Wood Green and a woman was there with her husband and the woman was having a break down. The husband didn't know what to do, they were on the phone to the police for two hours trying to get someone out to help but the police weren't going. I had to use my knowledge of breakdowns from my history and try to calm them both down.

Phone cuts out


Interviewer- I was going to add that when I was in hospital the amount of police who assist service users is immense

Kofi- exactly even though to begin with you're alarmed people comply because the police are seen as a figure of authority. So another system they bring in to place it will take them a little while to acclimatise to their role and also for the public to see them as some kind of authority figure. From when you're young you hear sirens and you know it's the police and if the police are coming for you, you know it's because you've done something bad so whatever they bring in now it's going to take a while for that power to be accepted by the public.

Interviewer- If they bring something in

Kofi- exactly yeah. But the police can say they are no longer going out to a crisis and we can say they are selfish but then they can turn around and call us selfish because their job is ten times harder. They didn't sign up for this they signed up to fight crime.

Interviewer- some mental health problems can take up to ten hours

Kofi- exactly, but what's the route of the problem, the system. And who creates the system, the government. It goes back to them again

Interviewer- but what If someone's dangerous, if they're a danger to others and themselves?

Kofi- exactly how can it be assessed over the phone. When I was having a mental health breakdown, who did they call? The police. It comes down to the government to change these policies, that's why it's important for you and I to raise our voices and lend a hand and be part of these meetings to help change these policies. From the NHS to the teaching staff , society in general everything's going downhill.

And I even heard they changed the mental health act 1979 to give more power to the patients to take themselves off section which is dangerous aswell.

But back to the police, If they're saying the police are struggling, put something in place to stop it, but before you implement it make sure it actually works. Unfortunately we just have to wait and see what happens. Only once something happens which is serious will someone step in its crazy. So we have to be reactive to be proactive

When we should have put this in place first.

And then what the Government will do is blame the last government and say they have to rectify what the last government did. So yeah that's where we're at, we just have to see what happens.....


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