Police called out 90,000 times to deal with mental health problems

The police were called out 90,000 times last year to deal with people causing disruption due to mental health issues, double the 2010 total, the NRC said on Thursday.

There are various reasons for the increase, including cuts in the number of beds in psychiatric institutions, as part of a ‘care in the community approach’, the paper said.

‘Psychiatric patients are more likely to live among us, but there is not the money to give them the care they need,’ Leeuwarden mayor Ferd Crone told the paper.

In addition, society has become more complex and the rise in computer use has made it more difficult for people to ask for help or benefits, the paper said.

According to police spokesman, Henk van Dijk, the nature of the incidents is also becoming increasingly serious.

The police have now set up special teams to deal with ‘confused behaviour’ and most districts also have purpose-built vehicles to transport people, so they don’t have to be handcuffed in police cars, the paper said.

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