Police officers in Derbyshire have been called out to more than 450 incidents with a mental health element this year alone, the Derbyshire Times can reveal.
In the last five years, the numbers of recorded call outs with a mental health element received by the force have increased sixfold.
From 2013 to 2015, the force saw fewer than 100 people each year reporting a mental health issue.
However, in 2016, that figure shot up to almost 400.
And this year, Derbyshire’s officers have already seen a further increase in call outs of this type, with the figure likely to end 2017 above 600.
Derbyshire Police say the change is down to improvements in the way mental health incidents are recorded and better awareness of the problem.
The Street Triage has improved the way people with mental health are treated.Assistant Chief Constable, Chris Haward
Assistant Chief Constable, Chris Howard, said: “Since introducing the Street Triage Scheme in conjunction with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2014 the way we record incidents with a mental health element has improved.
“The Street Triage has improved the way people with a mental illness are treated in emergency situations.
“There is a greater awareness of mental ill health, not only within the community but also within our organisation. We will continue to work with partner agencies to respond to incidents and direct people with a mental illness in the right direction to receive support.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “A number of organisations in Derby and Derbyshire are working closely together to make sure that people get the help they need when they experience a mental health crisis.
“We have formed a single project group, the Derby and Derbyshire Crisis Care Concordat Group, to oversee this important work and together we have made good progress in a number of areas – including the launch of 24-hour mental health liaison teams in our major hospitals and the establishment of a mental health triage hub in Derbyshire Constabulary’s control room.
“As a result, in recent years there has been growing awareness and recognition amongst partner agencies of the impact that mental health problems may have on individuals coming into their services. Our staff are there to work alongside these agencies to identify any mental health issues and ensure they are recorded. This is allowing us to establish a true picture of the demand for mental health services and, more importantly, to provide people with the right treatment and support as soon as possible.”
Derbyshire constabulary mental health call-outs over the last five years
2013 - 75
2014 - 79
2015 - 77
2016 - 397
2017 - 455