Hon Liza Harvey MLA

Hon Liza Harvey MLA

Former Deputy Premier; Minister for Police; Road Safety; Training and Workforce Development; Women's Interests

Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Mental Health; Child Protection

    Strong results for police, mental health teams

    25/08/2016 6:00 AM
     
    • Positive results for landmark police and mental health co-response teams
    • Police transport 80% fewer patients to emergency departments 

    A landmark Liberal National Government trial to have senior mental health clinicians work alongside police has resulted in enhanced care of patients and fewer officers being tied up transporting people to hospital.

     

    Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said the trial area had been expanded to now cover 50 per cent of metropolitan Perth.

     

    "When the teams are engaged there has been an 80 per cent reduction in police officers transporting mentally ill patients to hospital, with the clinicians instead treating them in the community," Ms Harvey said.

     

    "This allows police officers to return to their core duties of investigating and responding to crime and antisocial behaviour in the community."

     

    Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said since the trial began, the specialist teams had responded to 4,500 incidents where mental health was an issue.

     

    "The mental health clinicians are the experts in dealing with these people; they know what treatment they need and how to help de-escalate what can be very tense situations," Ms Mitchell said.

     

    "The trial includes senior mental health clinicians based at the Police Operations Centre, triaging calls for assistance, and another at the Perth Watch House assessing and facilitating access to the right care for detainees."

     

    The State Government had allocated $6.5 million for the trial, which has been developed by WA Police, the Mental Health Commission and the Department of Health.

     

    Ms Harvey said there had been a great deal of interest shown in the co-response trial from police in other jurisdictions, including the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

     

    Fact File

    • There were 17,498 police mental health calls outs in 2015, compared with 4,766 in 2007
    • The mental health co-response teams have responded to 4,500 incidents since the trial began in December 2015 

    Deputy Premier and Police Minister's office - 6552 5900

    Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 5400

     

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