A full index of the content of mental health authorised professional practice (APP) is available. This module, when published, will wholly replace and decommission the existing ACPO (now NPCC) and Department of Health (2010) guidance on responding to people with mental ill health or learning disabilities.
This APP on mental health has been developed through:
- consolidating and updating pre-existing guidance
- professional expertise of police and voluntary sector practitioners
- international and national legislation, statutory codes of practice and relevant case law
- IPCC lessons learnt from deaths following police contact, (and successful interventions).
The section on communication skills and techniques draws on findings from systematic reviews of research evidence. Where the guidance draws on any empirical evidence, it is explicitly referenced in the text.
Mental health APP is intended to provide guidance to the police service of England and Wales. It is focused on the police response to people who:
- are experiencing mental ill health
- have a learning disability
- have developmental conditions
- have multiple needs relating to mental health
- are mentally or emotionally vulnerable and require assistance.
The guidance highlights the actions and behaviours that may help the police address the needs of mentally vulnerable individuals, whether they are acting in a criminal justice or health care capacity, or in both of these roles. When acting in a criminal justice capacity, the police will become involved when a person is a victim of crime, a witness to crime or is suspected of or known to have committed a crime. When acting in a healthcare capacity, the police may be:
- acting in support of healthcare agencies that are dealing with someone experiencing mental ill health (for example, by using police powers)
- supporting a person experiencing mental ill health until healthcare professionals are involved
- responding to families and carers of people with mental ill health or learning disabilities who have concerns about them
- responding to members of the public seeking a service from the police in relation to suspected mental ill health or learning disabilities on the part of an individual.
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