Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) is an innovative mental health workforce model that brings together the police and community mental health services in order to better support people with complex mental health needs.
Across the UK, emergency and healthcare services respond to people in mental health crisis. For a small number of service users, crisis behaviours become cyclical and regular, placing an intensive operational demand on police, ambulance, Emergency Departments (ED), and mental health teams.
SIM trains a police officer passionate about mental health in high intensity behaviour, risk management, and basic clinical theory. The officer is then based within their local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) to assist with the clinical and risk management of the most challenging cases.
Over time this multi-dimensional team combine clinical, risk and behavioural management skills to work with service users to develop a personalised package of care. Predicting and preventing high intensity calls by encouraging the service user towards more consistent and healthy coping strategies. Focusing on the complex factors driving their crisis and providing opportunities to break this cycle offers significant benefits to the individual, their families, and their communities, as well as a reduction in section 136s and associated costs.
Health economic analysis has demonstrated that this type of intensive crisis behaviour can cost police, ambulance, emergency departments and mental health services between £20,000 and £30,000 a year per patient. It is estimated that there are around 2,000-2,500 people across the UK who place these repeat demands upon services.
SIM intervention teams slowly reduce this pattern of high cost behaviour. Every patient is different, but the best results so far have seen crisis calls and demand reduced by up to 90%.
“My mentors help me to understand why 999 responders make the decisions they do. It helps me heal more quickly” – Service User
“This project improves the care I can offer” – Social Worker
“I now have one crisis plan that is shared by police, ambulance, A&E and mental health services” – Service User