Nick Clegg: We shouldn't lock up mentally ill children

February 18, 2014 11:08 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg has today criticised the practice of locking up mentally ill people, including children, to a police cell when appropriate services are not available.

Instead, Nick is working in Government to improve emergency support support for people in mental health crisis.

This includes a new agreement between policy, mental health trusts and paramedics. Called the Crisis Care Concordat, the agreement will drive up standards of care for people experiencing crisis such as suicidal thoughts or significant anxiety.

It will also help cut the numbers of people detained inappropriately in police cells and make sure standards improve across the country.

Critical in bringing about this huge improvement is the Lib Dem Health and Care minister, Norman Lamb. Today, he said

"When someone has a mental health crisis, it is distressing and frightening for them as well as the people around them. Urgent and compassionate care in a safe place is essential - a police cell should never need to be used because mental health services are not available. For me, crisis care is the most stark example of the lack of equality between mental and physical health.

The NHS and police already work well together in some areas, but it is totally unacceptable that crisis mental health care is so variable across the country. It is imperative that all areas seek to implement the principles of the Concordat as quickly as possible to ensure consistent care, no matter where you live.

Better care for people in mental health crises will not only help those living through their darkest hours to recover - it can also save lives."

For more about what the Liberal Democrats are doing to improve mental health click here.