More than 50 Merseyside Police cadets have received awareness training on how the police support people in crisis to mark World Mental Health Day, thanks to the region’s Police Commissioner.
World Mental Health Day is held every year on October 10 to encourage people to talk about mental health issues and what more needs to be done to remove the stigma around mental ill health. The theme for this year’s awareness-raising event set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world.
To mark the event, the Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy arranged a training session for more 50 volunteer cadets from Merseyside Police. Delivered by her community engagement officer Michael Berry, who specialises in mental health, the session focussed on raising awareness of some of the conditions experienced by people the police may be called to help, such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and self-harm.
The training seminar, held at Merseyside Police Headquarters in Canning Place, also covered the powers the police have to help people in mental health crisis and the work which is undertaken by the dedicated Synergy team within Merseyside Police which works with partners to ensure the best possible care and support for people in mental health crisis. This includes having a dedicated Mental Health Liaison officer, providing specialist mental health investigators in Merseyside’s mental health hospitals and running three triage cars, staffed by police officers and mental health practitioners which attend incidents to assess need at the point of crisis.
Jane said: “It’s estimated that one in 10 children and young people will experience mental health problems, so it is essential we talk to young people about their mental and emotional well-being.
“Good mental health enables children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded adults.
“I was pleased to be able to put on this training seminar for our fantastic cadets. They do a great job, giving their free time to represent Merseyside Police by volunteering in their local communities. This session was a good opportunity to raise their awareness of what mental health issues the police may be called upon to help with, but also to encourage them to look after their own mental well-being and reduce the stigma and discrimination that may be attached to talking about mental health issues.
Merseyside Police’s Volunteer Cadet scheme provides an opportunity for young people aged 16-18 to get involved with Merseyside Police and learn more about the police service, with insights and visits to different departments, including the dogs and mounted, firearms, forensics and public order training.
Find out more about the Cadet scheme.