Objectives: To review internationally recognized models of police interactions with people experiencing mental health crises that are sometimes complex and associated with adverse experience for the person in crisis, their family and emergency service personnel. To develop, implement and review a partnership model trial between mental health and emergency services that offers alternative response pathways with improved outcomes in care.
Methods: Three unique models of police and mental health partnership in the USA were reviewed and used to develop the PACER (Police Ambulance Crisis Emergency Response) model. A three month trial of the model was implemented and evaluated.
Results: Significant improvements in response times, the interactions with and the outcomes for people in crisis were some of the benefits shown when compared with usual services.
Conclusions: The pilot showed that a partnership involving mental health and police services in Melbourne, Australia could be replicated based on international models. Initial data supported improvements compared with usual care. Further data collection regarding usual care and this new model is required to confirm observed benefits.
Keywords: ambulance; crisis; mental health; partnership; police.
© The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.