West Yorkshire Criminal Justice and Mental Health Forum launched signalling a step change in the way mental health services are delivered as partners from health and criminal justice have come together to launch the West Yorkshire Criminal Justice and Mental Health Forum.
This Forum is unprecedented and includes West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, West Yorkshire Police, NHS, Public Health England, the Ambulance and Fire Services and Mental Health Trusts.
The Forum has come together to better meet the health and criminal justice needs of people with mental health issues within West Yorkshire communities and by working together the group aims to:
- Improve the understanding of issues around mental health, community safety and the criminal justice system, and put in place better systems to deal with those issues
- Deliver a whole systems approach to ensure individuals who experience a mental health crisis receive a high quality, effective and seamless service
- Ensure best service user experience and outcomes for those experiencing mental health crisis; and
- Ensure public health principles underpin local strategy to prevent future crisis.
The Forum provides a real opportunity to build on the good work already taking place around the local crisis care concordat initiatives and provide strategic direction to the mental health programme for West Yorkshire’s successful Vanguard Bid for Urgent Care which has the potential to radically change how we deal with crisis care in the county.
Speaking as chair of the first meeting of the Forum, the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said:
“Mental health issues can have a massive impact on everyone concerned, for the person experiencing a mental health crisis, organisations dealing with that person or the wider community.
It is vital therefore that the different organisations involved in dealing with mental health issues are working together in a much more integrated way to ensure the best service possible.
This Criminal Justice and Mental Health Forum provides an exciting opportunity to build on the good work being delivered by all agencies but to work more collectively and with much more ambition.
Protecting people with mental health issues is a challenge but together we are much more able to meet this challenge effectively and improve the lives of individuals and their families, in our communities.
The commitment shown from all partners to come together to create this Forum is testament to the real commitment of partners in West Yorkshire to drive positive change and make a real difference.”
Simon Large, Chief Executive of Bradford District Care Foundation Trust and member of the Forum said “This is a fantastic opportunity to consider how to best achieve a consistent approach across public services in West Yorkshire when supporting citizens experiencing a mental health crisis. This is all about ensuring rapid access to the right services for people when they are at their most vulnerable.”