Councils to improve community support for mentally ill

police carMinisters, local authorities and psychiatric services are to draw up a strategy to deal with people with serious mental health issues who are not in residential care.

All councils are expected to have a plan to deal with people who fall outside the traditional psychiatric care sector, but who require help, by the end of the summer, the Telegraaf says on Monday.

The aim is to make sure vulnerable people, such as double killer Bart van U, are not ignored, the paper says. Van U, who was known to have serious mental health issues but was not being treated, killed former health minister Els Borst in February 2014 and his own sister the following year.

Last year both the police and mental health charities warned that the government’s policy of decentralising psychiatric services in favour of ‘care in the community’ was leading to more incidents involving the mentally ill.


Local health boards are also reporting an increase in cases of ‘disturbed behaviour’, the Telegraaf says.

‘These often involve people who have lost their way temporarily, but some can have major problems such as death and bereavement,’ spokesman Sjoerd Beumer told the paper.

Earlier this month, Rotterdam’s central station was closed for around two hours on a Friday afternoon after a ‘confused’ man who was known to the authorities threatened to blow himself up.

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