Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust has launched a brand new and innovative mental health service working in partnership with Essex Police and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network to help support service users struggling with complex behavioural disorders in their local communities.
Across the UK, emergency and healthcare services respond every minute to people in mental health crisis. Mental health crisis calls are increasing consistently each year. But there is also ‘a problem within this problem’ because in every community, up to 40% of this demand is caused by the same patients; a small number of repeat callers who struggle to manage highly complex behavioural disorders and who, as a result place intensive operational demands on police, ambulance, A&E departments and mental health teams.
The Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) service brings together mental health professionals and police officers in joint mentoring teams. These teams provide intensive support to people in the community who are struggling to manage high frequency and high-risk crisis behaviours. By combining the clinical expertise of a mental health professional with the boundary setting skills of a police officer, the service aims to support people in changing the decisions they make in a crisis to encourage healthier and safer responses to often highly complex emotions. SIM provides an extra intensity in support that conventional secondary services cannot currently provide, it also promotes self-worth and self-esteem by delivering re-engagement activities in the community.
The award winning intervention, designed by Paul Jennings, a former mental health sergeant from Hampshire Constabulary, how been shown to significantly reduce 999 calls, Emergency department attendances and hospital admissions. Health Economic Analysis demonstrates how basic operational costs to police, ambulance, emergency department and mental health settings of around £19,800 annually per patient were reduced through use of SIM by up to 90% within two years.
The Eastern Academic Health Science Network is supporting delivery of this service as part of a wider programme of introducing proven health innovations to the Eastern region. SIM is one of seven innovative programmes chosen by NHS England and the AHSN network for national adoption and spread from 2018-2020.
Eastern AHSN is offering support to organisations in the region who wish to implement SIM. For more information contact: Donna Patten, SIM Lead, Eastern AHSN on 07799 707241 or 01223 661500.