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Commissioner Backs Mental Health Awareness Week

12th May 2015

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is backing Mental Health Awareness Week.

The week, running from May 11 to 17 and spearheaded by the Mental Health Foundation, is focusing on Mindfulness – paying attention to the present moment without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future.

Protecting those that are vulnerable in the community is a high priority for Commissioner Baird.

She said: “I give my full support to Mental Health Awareness Week which each year informs people about mental health and well being, centering around a different aspect of it.

“This year it looks at mindfulness which helps people change the way they think and feel about experiences, particularly those that are stressful.

“Knowing there are ways to tackle mental health issues and that there is support available is incredibly important so people can reach out and receive the help they need.”

Commissioner Baird represents the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) on the National Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat.

She last year signed the country-wide pledge supporting the first Mental Health Concordat, while this year, gave her signature to a regional Crisis Care Concordat which sees police, the NHS, councils and the voluntary sector in the north east coming together to improve the crisis care for those with serious mental health issues.

Commissioner Baird said: “These pledges are all about the different agencies coming together to ensure those with mental health issues do not suffer unduly in a crisis, which for example could be if they are arrested.

“There are times when people come into contact with police when they should actually be receiving help through mental health and social care support or assistance.

“National and regional Concordats give a joint approach for assessing and improving the care of people in mental health crisis and are greatly improving the help they receive.

“Giving people the right quality treatment and care when in crisis, plus helping them to recover and stay well will go a long way to preventing future crises.”

Within Northumbria Police, a street triage project is continuing where police officers and mental healthcare workers work together at peak times to avoid detaining people under the Mental Health Act and ensuring they get the support they need.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, visit the website: