6 December, 2018

Julia comments on 1983 Mental Health Act review

Commenting on today’s independent review of the 1983 Mental Health Act, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said: 

“I completely agree that the Mental Health Act is outdated and needs a complete overhaul. Too many people are being mistreated by the system at a time when they need the best possible support. It has to change. 

“It is particularly important that we end police cells being used as a place of safety – something this report urges. When I first came into post six years ago, North Yorkshire was the only area in the country to have no specialist health-based places of safety.  I worked hard with others to fight that injustice, and we now have four. But half of those set up are under threat – Northallerton’s is closing, Harrogate’s looks set to close. These decisions are short-sighted, wrong and unquestionably people in crisis will be let down in their time of need. Police cells are still having to be used as a place of safety in North Yorkshire so we should be investing in more health-based facilities, not closing those we do have.  

“We are running the risk of failing people who are facing mental health crises and not providing the support they need close to where they live, putting more stress on them, their families and the authorities – such as the police – who have to pick up the pieces.”