Merseyside Police are pleased to launch ‘Synergy: A collaborative approach to mental health’ a new project aimed at the police response to individuals experiencing mental health.

The launch of ‘Synergy’ comes at a prevalent point during Mental Health Awareness Week (14th – 20th May 2018) and bases its ethos on 5 main points:

To support and protect vulnerable people and maintain public safety,
To support a ‘One Team’ approach to policing and mental health in Merseyside,
To acknowledge mental health is a core aspect of modern day policing,
To support both the public, our colleagues and partners with specialist advice and guidance,
To provide a quality and consistent strategic approach.
Merseyside Police, in collaboration with partners, have been developing this area of policing for many years which has ultimately improved the service we provide to individuals we encounter who are experiencing mental-ill health.

This collaboration has led to a wide range of services, including qualified mental health staff within custody suites and courts who identify vulnerable people to help improve health and criminal justice outcomes. The ‘Mental Health Triage Car’ scheme, sees a qualified mental health practitioner join a specially trained officer who can respond to police incidents when someone involved is suspected to have a mental health issue. Merseyside Police also have officers based in some mental health units who investigate crimes that are committed within those environments.

The launch of ‘Synergy’ supports Merseyside Police’s operational focus around vulnerability, enabling us to continue our work with other agencies and to enhance and develop the schemes already in place.

This year, ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ focuses on stress. We believe being healthy doesn't just mean looking after the physical aspects of your health, but to also care for your mental wellbeing. By feeling good in both mind and body, enables you to enjoy life to the full and cope with the usual stresses of everyday life.

Merseyside Police actively encourage staff to become ‘Blue Light Champions’ who are essential in challenging the stigma around mental health and increasing understanding within the emergency services.

Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “I’m sure everyone has experienced stress at some point or another in their lifetime. But, some people suffer a lot worse than others and become overwhelmed which could lead to mental health problems.

"Like all emergency services, we as the police face people of varying needs on a daily basis and although we do all we can to offer adequate support, by having a recognised internal project to educate and guide our officers and staff, we can ensure the best support is available from the most appropriate service.”