"I find this practice degrading, criminalising and outdated"
About: Coventry And Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust Coventry And Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust Coventry CV6 6NY
Posted by rightsawareness (as ),
In September 2010 I was detained by Coventry police under section 136 of MHA 1983. I was handcuffed by police officer then taken to and detained in police custodial unit for over 7 hours pending mental health assessment by local mental health team.
Post mental health assessment I returned to my residential address exhausted feeling humiliated degraded and criminalised and significantly more traumatised and mentally ill then prior to section 136 detention process.
I am a female mental health service user, since 2006 I have been detained ( under the act ) several times, for reasons of mental illness not crime. I find the practice of being locked in a police cell while awaiting mental health assessment by local mental health team degrading, criminalising and outdated.
Coventry mental health commissioning services urgently need to fund establishment of a "safe place" (clinically staffed assessment unit) within hospital environment for use of individuals subject to section 136 of mental health act 1983.
National guidelines published in 2008 list a code of practice for police officers / NHS trusts to adhere to whilst detaining individuals under section 136 of mental health act 1983.
Standards on the use of section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 were published 29 September 2008. This report clarified police should only use police custodial unit as "safe place" to hold people detained under section 136 of MHA 1983 "in exceptional circumstances" pending mental health assessment.
The police may implement section 136 MHA 1983 if a police officer considers a person to be at risk of self harm or harm to others.
Across the UK Department of Health put 140 million pounds money into building of assessment suites and it appears most police forces including near by Birmingham area have access to such a facility.