College of Paramedics evidence into mental health care and policing

Comments on surveyThe survey represents only a snapshot of views from a relatively small number of the UK's 20 000 paramedics. However, it is felt that this is a fair representation of the general view of paramedics, though there would need to be structured research to ensure academic rigour and scientific validity. It is suggested that the survey provides the following insights:• There is a higher level of awareness of sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 than there is of understanding amongst paramedics responding to the survey• The paramedics respondents believe the level of understanding of sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 among the police is fairly low• There is a resounding call among the respondents for further education and training in mental health for paramedics• There was a small majority of paramedics who felt there was a need for additional powers through legislation for paramedics, but there was clear evidence to have further treatments available for paramedics to provide this group of patients (however, more research would be need to specify what those treatments could be)• There is both perceived and actual risk to paramedics when dealing with some patients with mental health illnesses• Mental health cases are increasing as a proportion of the workload for paramedics.

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