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Channel 4 documentary featuring Nottinghamshire Police's street triage team in line for BAFTA

A documentary series featuring an episode where Nottinghamshire Police’s street triage team helped save a woman in extreme distress is in line for a Bafta award.

Channel 4 filming crews joined the team in summer 2019 to demonstrate how police and healthcare professionals from the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust work alongside one another to provide more joined-up support to members of the public who come into contact with the police after they have experienced mental health issues.

In the episode, part of the “Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency” series, team members PC Rich Boam and Linda Pert, a community mental health nurse for Nottinghamshire Heathcare, help a woman who presented at a hospital and told them she was hearing voices telling her to take her own life or hurt other people.

PC Rich Boam and Community Mental Health Nurse Linda Pert (47478683)
PC Rich Boam and Community Mental Health Nurse Linda Pert (47478683)

They talked to her and used their expert skills to reassure her they wanted to help her and were taking her threats seriously.

After speaking to her they made sure she was okay and returned home safely to her worried partner who had called police earlier asking for their help.

PC Boam said: “Being involved in the documentary was completely different to anything else I’ve ever done before but it was enjoyable.

“The episodes have been really impactful and seem to have been really well-received by the public, particularly as it gives them an insight into the reality of what mental healthcare looks like.

“Mental health is generally talked about much more these days and it’s a topic that’s entering more and more in the public conscience as a result.

"That has been really helpful in raising the profile of mental health and in showing the range of services that are in-place to support people who are living with a mental health condition.”

The episode, which can still be watched via the channel’s ‘All 4’ video on demand service, is the fourth in the “Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency” series which has now been shortlisted for a Bafta award in the factual series category.

The series is up against three other category nominees at the awards ceremony which will be held on June 6.

Police Sergeant Anthony Horsnall, mental health coordinator at Nottinghamshire Police, who has been presented with a High Sheriff medal for the team’s work, said: “It’s fantastic that the episode featuring the team has received national recognition and contributed to the success of this series which has now been nominated for a Bafta award.

“This series placed a much-needed focus on what is an incredibly important and complex issue and now it has been shortlisted for such a top honour I hope it will help shed even more light on the support which is available to people living with mental health issues.

“I’m hugely proud of the ongoing work that our team does with our partners to support people at a time of mental health crisis. If you are struggling, and particularly if you have suicidal thoughts, I urge you to seek help. There is support available and you are not alone.”

Alison Harrison, service manager street triage team at Nottinghamshire Healthcare said: “Nottinghamshire Healthcare and the police partnership has gone from strength to strength with a dedicated passionate team of nurses and police officers supporting and signposting citizens of Nottinghamshire at times of acute mental health distress who have come into contact with the police. It is great to shine a light on this important aspect of mental health support.

“I am proud of the team and the work they do, we continue with our police colleagues to develop the team to extend our reach to those who may need mental health support.”

By working closely together, the street triage team can better signpost patients who are experiencing a mental health crisis to more comprehensive and appropriate support.

The team — one of the first to be set up nationally consisting of police officers and adult mental health nurses — was set up to provide a more integrated response to calls to police about mental health emergencies.

Together they provide a specialist response to people with mental health issues, who come into contact with the police and need urgent help.

Examples include incidents of concern for the safety and welfare of members of the public, as the team is tasked with responding to immediate threats to life and limb.

Even more light has been shone on the team’s vital work in a separate documentary filmed with radio host Roman Kemp.

The I’m A Celebrity star visited Nottinghamshire Police headquarters in February this year to film his programme about male suicide and mental health, highlighting the help that is out there for when people need it most.

The documentary “Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency”, which aired on BBC prime time in March and is still available on the iPlayer, is a candid and personal exploration of mental health and suicide in young men, and the effect it has on those left behind.

It came about following the death of Roman’s close friend and producer Joe Lyons, who suddenly and unexpectedly died last August.

The programme explores what can be done to encourage people to seek help and what preventative action can be taken as well as shining a light on the lasting impact that mental health issues and suicide can have on the friends and families of those involved.

It shows Roman joining the team on a night shift as they provide emergency help to vulnerable people in need of immediate mental health support.

In the documentary Roman accompanies nurse Louise Chapman from Nottinghamshire Healthcare and PC Dan Gilbert as they visit a man who had made an attempt on his life. He was located by the team at home where they assessed his mental health.

Speaking at the time of the filming, Roman said: “Being with the team was amazing and truly awe-inspiring. It was great to meet the team and see the work they do to help people when they are at the lowest point in their lives.

“There is no doubt a team like this saves lives which otherwise might have been lost and well done Nottinghamshire for realising this is needed. It was a privilege to witness their work as part of my documentary exploring male suicide.

“There is a growing mental health crisis going on right now, and without the right support, the results can be tragic. I hope that by making this documentary for the BBC we can bring attention to a subject that is affecting thousands of young men across the country, and show that there are ways to reach those who are suffering and need our help.”

Chief Constable Craig Guildford, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The street triage team provides essential support to vulnerable people needing immediate mental health support, ensuring that they receive the best and most appropriate care to meet their needs.

“I am delighted that the team’s work has received such widespread recognition and I’d also like to congratulate the series producers on the Bafta nomination and wish them good luck.”

People who are already using mental health services are encouraged to follow the crisis information which they have been given. Anyone who isn’t already being seen can refer themselves for crisis support on 0808 196 3779.

Alternatively, people can also seek support from their GP, by calling Samaritans on 116 123 or by calling NHS 111.

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