Welsh patient-led mental health charity Hafal has delivered a groundbreaking training day in Cardiff on how to provide support to young people and mentally vulnerable adults detained in police custody suites.
The charity, which this year launched a new criminal justice “Link Service” funded by the Big Lottery and the Lloyds TSB Foundation, was supported at the event by Northern Ireland charity MindWise. A number of law students and professors from across the UK attended the training which took place at Cardiff Law School.
When a young person with a mental health illness is held by police the role of an Appropriate Adult is to ensure the individual is treated appropriately and that they fully understand the process of police detainment (Appropriate Adults are not there to offer any form of legal representation or advice). During the training day, which was led by MindWise’s Stanley Booth, participants were briefed on the aims of the Appropriate Adult role, given case studies to discuss and also had the opportunity to take part in role play exercises.
Hafal’s Criminal Justice Lead Officer Penny Cram said: “The training gave our team the chance to emphasise how important the role of an Appropriate Adult is in ensuring a vulnerable person has support in going through what can be a very difficult and confusing time.
“The training will help us to ensure that vulnerable adults with serious mental illness in police custody suites can receive appropriate support from staff with mental health experience.”