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Mental health guide for criminal justice staff launched

A new mental health guide to help frontline criminal justice staff has been produced after practitioners at a mental health charity joined forces with criminal justice and health agencies. Entitled 'A common sense approach to working with defendants and offenders with mental health problems, it offers guidance to professionals such as prison and probation officers and court staff on how to work effectively with the disproportionate number of people with mental health problems who find themselves in contact with the criminal justice system. It also includes information and advice on working with people who have substance abuse issues, alcohol problems and learning difficulties.  The guide was developed by mental health charity Together with support from the London Offender Health Team and the London Criminal Justice Partnership.  The document, which is available online, will help staff identify, understand and better respond to people in need. It also advises staff how to signpost, and work in a joined-up manner, with other health and social care agencies that can help.

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