Concerns for Welfare

@MentalHealthCop

“Remember, the police service have no legal authorities in private premises under the Mental Health Act 1983, limited ability to justify action under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and can only otherwise act by detention if there is a criminal offence of a breach of the peace. The most important thing, however, is to give assurances that someone is ‘safe and well’ where you lack the skills, information and training to tell – get NHS support and advice on this, always.”

Mental Health Cop

It is currently flying around social medica that the Metropolitan Police is being asked to undertake 5,000 “safe and well” or “concern for welfare” checks per month.  I’m not sure whether this number is even vaguely accurate, but if even remotely correct that amounts to over 150 such calls per day across London. (My intelligence sources tell me that it is a considerable under-estimate!)

Not all of these will be mental health: some will be regarding the safety and wellbeing of children and others will concerns elderly adults who have dropped out of contact with family and friends, but some will involve adults living with various kinds of mental health related issues.

I’ve written before about the difficulty the police have in doing these checks and I’m not going to repeat all of that, but I am going to outline a clear model I have developed in my head since…

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the double imhl: I was banned; I complained; I was bullied; I complained; I was bullied again; I complained; what next?

Yesterday by chance I came upon the photo and employment details on LinkedIn of the man who had bullied me at the double imhl.  On the Friday in Manchester.  He’d come up to me when I was speaking to a couple of Scottish Government folk at the afternoon tea break, saying we had to take our seats again in the main hall.

I had been discussing my banning from the Scottish patient safety exchange when he butted in.  As I started following him into the hall he turned on me, pointing his finger in my face.  Saying that my banning had nothing to do with double imhl or Fran Silvestri.  

I wondered how he knew anything about it.  I even had to take a step back as he was right in my face and space.  Very annoying.  I didn’t know him from Adam.  I told him to put his finger down.  I remember looking at his badge, the Scottish name, but I’d never seen him before so didn’t think he lived in Scotland.  I asked him “who are you?”.  

He said a person with lived experience of mental health issues. His LinkedIn profile says clinical psychologist and executive director of this, that and the other in mental health matters, in England.  Looking back his history I see that he trained at Glasgow University, 1970-74.  I’m thinking that makes him about my age as I went to Aberdeen University in 1970, after leaving school in Perth.

I went back to my table at the front where I’d been the only one seated all morning, where there were many empty seats.  Only to find another Scottish man, now living in New Zealand, sitting right next to where I’d placed my rucksack on my seat.  I knew him.  A co-founder of VOX.  He wore dark glasses and said nothing as I sat down.  I reciprocated. 

This man sat so close that it felt like he was almost breathing down my neck but I wasn’t going to move as I’d sat there first.  So I went about my business as usual, tweeting and writing notes.  I was determined that I wasn’t going to let bullying or intimidation take away my enjoyment of the double imhl.  The fact that I had been banned from the Scottish patient safety exchange I put behind me for the moment.

For I did enjoy the two days of networking and catching up with allies in the Man U venue.  I enjoyed some of the speakers and I really enjoyed the workshop on the interface between police and mental health services led by @MentalHealthCop Inspector Michael Brown and Dr Jenny Holmes, forensic medical examiner.  A highlight of the double imhl for me.