Senior operational commanders and managers from local health districts, NSW Ambulance and NSW Police will attend local workshops across the State to ensure best practice when managing people experiencing mental health problems. Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said today marked the first of 16 collaborative workshops, which support the implementation of the revised NSW Health – NSW Police Force Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU sets out how health staff, police officers and paramedics work together when responding to and delivering care to people accessing these services.“In NSW, our priority is making sure anyone who seeks our help receives timely and appropriate care, in an environment that’s safe for them and for our staff,” Mrs Davies said.

“This includes people living with mental illness, those in police custody brought to a health facility, and the management of public safety issues in health settings.” Minister for Police Troy Grant said NSW Police officers frequently deal with people who have a mental illness and need access to health support, services and care.

“Police are commonly the first on the scene in a crisis situation and the NSW Government is ensuring our men and women on the frontline have the education and awareness required to deal with all kinds of emergencies,” Mr Grant said. “These local meetings address the revisions and additions made to the MOU and will help staff get across the important changes.” Workshops will be held across NSW over the next four months, beginning in Lismore today then moving on to each local health district and specialty network.