De-escalation Techniques

Mental Health Cop

Have you heard this phrase before? A concept quite often referred to in mental health care – it refers to an approach by mental health nurses to diffuse situations of potential violence and resolve them without the professionals resorting to the use of coercion or physical force. De-escalation is something that is trained to staff who are employed in mental health units, an adjunct to training received control and restraint and to be preferred to it, whenever possible.

Last year, I gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee during their inquiry into policing and mental health and I was directly asked about whether the police service needed to learn from the mental health system. After the tragedies we’ve seen in policing where officers are confronted with violent situations – vulnerable people exhibiting significant levels of resistance to lawful detention or a broader public threat – there are predictable questions if…

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