South Yorkshire Police launch new Mental Health Alert Card alongside Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

Date published: 15 April 2022 15:30
Dated: 14 April 2022 15:10:08

A new initiative to support people with mental health conditions in their interactions with the emergency services has been launched in South Yorkshire.

The Mental Health Alert Card is the result of a partnership between South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

The teams wanted to help reduce the anxiety and distress often felt by people experiencing difficulties with their mental health when interacting with the police, or when seeking support or help from other agencies.

DCI Richard Hammond, South Yorkshire Police's Force Lead for Mental Health, said: “The Mental Health Alert Card ensures the police have clear and tailored information about each individual who carries one.

“It will detail things such as their communication style, any sensory issues they may have, what circumstances can trigger them to becoming unwell and any particular difficulties that individual may face.

“The card will enable officers to gain a better understanding of the individual and their situation, in a timely manner and without causing any additional distress.”

People who apply for a card will receive a free photo ID card with the ICE (in case of emergency) contacts. The card will contain a unique reference number, which when shown to police officers and staff enables them to access useful information about the individual.

An additional ‘passport’ is also available, should the card-holder want to share information with other services they encounter, such as interchange staff or shopping mall staff.

The card does not carry any chips and is not a proof of ID.

Ellie Wildbore, a service user and Patient Ambassador at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m so proud of the work that has gone into developing the new Mental Health Alert Card. Having been in a position where I’ve been supported by the police during a mental health crisis a card like this would have made a big difference in helping me explain what was going on and the best way to support me.

"I’d really encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health on a long-term basis to register for a card, it really could make all the difference in what is already a tough situation.”

DCI Hammond added: “This initiative should allow officers to adapt their communication style or response, so they can ensure they treat people with a mental health condition appropriately and with respect.”

To find out more about the card, or to apply for one, click here.

DCI Richard Hammond at the event

DCI Richard Hammond at the event

Ellie Wildbore speaking at the event

Ellie Wildbore speaking at the event

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Poolman speaks at the launch

Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Poolman speaks at the launch

Related Content

No related content found