It’s good to talk

Just about three weeks into blogging and I’m well on the way to 5,000 hits.  Earlier today, moved past 1,000 followers on twitter.  So here’s what I take from the interest that’s been generated each of these social media:  there is a decent level of interest in this area of policing and more work to do.

Frontline cops – I’ve got to mention these first, because this was my motivation for becoming interested in this area.  I have already had both tweets and emails from PCs and Sergeants saying that they have used information from both sources in their jobs and achieved benefits for patients and efficiency for the service.  For example, calling an ambulance to s136 MHA for example – we know this has saved one life in the last 12 months in my area alone.  Ensuring that the police are accompanied by health professionals when attempting to recover an AWOL patient – we know that there have been contacts deaths where the police have done this unaccompanied.  The custody sergeants seems to be tuning in frequently.

Social workers – and I’m going to specifically highlight @ermintrude2 and @444blackcat on twitter, but there are others, too.  Professionals who are listening to and actively spreading the perspective of this police officer, embracing and encouraging a view on the Mental Health Act that is sometimes at odds with their own.  That they are doing this when undoubtedly it challenges assumptions held by some social workers has to be commended.  It gets and keeps the dialogue going.

Lawyers – who have been kind enough to comment and encourage, seeing as they do the challenges and difficulties into which agencies and service users and their families manage to get themselves.  Probably wrong if I did not highlight @HumanRightsQC for his encouragement in tweeting and his feedback.  But there are others too, who ‘RTd’ and have encouraged readership.

Doctors and Nurses – mostly psychiatric, but also including GPs and A&E professionals.  People who have given a perspective, encouraged and given feedback about cultures on wards and the benefits / drawbacks of prosecution.  Various opinions about mental health in general, in A&E as well as on psychiatric wards.  Invaluable.

Service users – who have commented upon the blog and made known their positive experience when in the care and detention of the police, who tried to get them access to services.  I’ve had positive tweets from MH professionals in my own force area, commenting upon the professional, empathetic attitude of frontline PCs during s136 detentions, etc..

Senior people – it is gratifying to see senior police officers who have followed, most of all @CCLeicsPolice who is the ACPO Lead on Mental Health & Disability.  He has RTd the blog and sought to engage his wider followers on how he’s taking this agenda forward, at a national level.  There are more – enough to run a few police forces – and I’d hope this reflects importance they attach to developing this area of our business, because senior support is vital.

Students – from all of the above professions, as well as some living with mental illness.  Our future in more ways than one.

OrganisationsMIND, Revolving Doors, Centre for Mental Health, Rethink, Royal College of Psychiatrists, INQUEST:  all have followed and RTd tweets and the blog which is taking the debate wider and this is most welcome.

What is clear from sitting in the middle of this, tweeting and the blogging is that we’re not at all a million miles apart.  Yes, I’ve had a few people offering a view that they don’t always agree with me – s135(1) warrants and the issue of prosecuting inpatient offences prompted some response.  This is fine.  I’m not actually trying to offer too many personal views, but merely to represent guidance, where it does it exists; and to highlight the problems we know we have had as a society.

I’d encourage you all who read this and who follow on twitter to come out of any organisational trench in which you sit and talk to each other.  It’s fair to say, that in undertaking partnership working in this area of business, you will find yourself disagreeing with others.  As long as you start with the humility that you don’t understand the other person’s job and you won’t always be right, you’ll probably learn more from each other by talking / debating than you ever will from reading this.


7 thoughts on “It’s good to talk

  1. The more we talk the more we remove the barriers we’ve built without even realising how many more similarities we have than differences.

    Keep talking!



  2. I second what Stuart says. I think it’s one of the real joys of using ‘social media’ for me has been to have more conversations with different people with different jobs/points of views/perceptions. We need to get out of our silos every now and then!

  3. It does you no credit to give favourable mentions to such as @444blackcat who uses foul and abusive language on twittershpere. You have probably failed to research this matter and hope you will now do so (read tweet history). Please consider publishing an apology for this (albeit unintentional) mistake with an assurannce that you will in future be more careful about whom you promote. Having said that welcome to social media but you must excercise more care than you probably realise. Best Wishes

    1. Thank you for the welcome and the best wishes.

      At the risk of appearing to reject your request, I would point out that the mention within the post was not promotion, but thanks expressed for debate had. Therefore whilst I regret any offence caused to you by someone eles saying something that you didn’t enjoy, I’m not sure it’s for me to apologise for his language which I chose not to repeat. You’ll have to take that up with him.

      There are many things to be offended about in this world – bad language may well be one of them and is for me on many occasions – but a more important matter for offence for me, is the larger, frankly far-more-important debate about policing & mental health. As a police officer, you learn quite quickly when it might be important to clamp down on certain behaviours, including foul / abusive language, and when it may be in your and everyone else’s interests to focus on broader, more important issues. I lock up drunks for swearing at A&E nurses; I tend not to do it with victims of serious crime, for example.

      A mention does not condone everything that someone else says and can only express my regret that you thought it did. That said, thanks again for the welcome to social media.

  4. I have now found three examples of use of abusvie language in tweets by @444blackcat and one of these has your address as a mention!!! I think your need to act appropriately is even more pressing!!!

  5. Apologies for pendantry but your paragraph headed Social Workers contacts a direct reference to @444blackcat. Therein. it states that this participant in social media debates “is to be commended”. I think that this mention can be described as promotion however you one may wish to dice or splice it. I will be commending your social media accounts to others and I consider this to be promoting your sites. But this will cease the moment your language should stoop to the levels set by @444blackcat who is a disgrace to his beleagured profession.

    1. Duly noted. Whilst blogging in a personal capacity, I’m not doing so anonymously and have no intention of so doing. I’m not going to split hairs over the above partial quotation and simply thank you for your support.

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