Norfolk’s pledge on mental health care

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Police, political leaders and health service chiefs have joined forces to pledge an improvement to mental health care in Norfolk.

The county is the first in the country to sign up to the government’s mental health crisis care agreement, a joint statement on how public bodies should work together to tackle mental health problems.

The declaration has been signed by bodies including Norfolk Police, the county’s police and crime commissioner, Stephen Bett, and Norfolk County Council, plus a host of health trusts, commissioning groups and charities.

It states: “We will work together to improve the system of care and support so that people in mental health crisis are kept as safe as possible.

“We will support them to find the help they need from whichever of our services they turn to first.”

Mr Bett said: “ This declaration is the foundation upon which we will build our approach to improving outcomes for people experiencing mental health crisis, tailored to local need.

“It is a fundamental building block in the development of a comprehensive local action plan which will ensure the delivery of effective services to keep Norfolk safe and well.”

Sue Whittaker, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s adult social care committee, added: “People’s mental health needs are an issue for all of us and it’s vital that we should have a first-class responsive service for people in crisis, when their need is greatest.”

The move follows talks between the bodies and care minister, and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb earlier this year.

Mr Lamb said it was vital that people could access the help they need quickly when they need it.

He added: “I am absolutely delighted to see Norfolk leading the way nationally on such an important aspect of caring for people with mental health problems.”