BBC 5Live Interview – Jonathan and Carrie describe how Together’s Liaison & Diversion Service helped them

In September 2019 Together for Mental Wellbeing service user Jonathan and his mother Carrie (names have been changed) gave an interview to BBC Radio 5Live. That focussed on how Jonathan had been living with mental distress and his and Carrie’s experience when he came into contact with the criminal justice system. BBC Radio 5Live ran a special report around the fact that incident referrals to the police with a mental health element to them had risen by a third in four years from 2014 to 2018 following a freedom of information request. Those police incidents could be classed as mental health related for a range of reasons, for example responding to someone in mental health crisis or a suspect with a mental health problem. Some police professionals have called for NHS staff to provide more of the support in those situations but the BBC article does identify how police are the one service who aren’t able to say no to calls that they receive when people need support.

Read the full article here

Jonathan had been involved in a fight and was facing the prospect of prison time when Together practitioner Paul first worked with him. Paul was able to ensure Jonathan received a mental health assessment and he was given a diagnosis of a learning disability which was then taken into account in his dealings with the court. Paul also looked to secure supported housing for Jonathan and supported him and his mother Carrie to move on from the situation and to avoid the detrimental effect that going into the criminal justice team would have had on him.

The interview begins with Jonathan responding to the question from BBC Journalist Stephen Chittenden on where he would be without the intervention from Paul: