From Disability News Service: “Disabled activists are calling for an immediate halt to the use of a multi-agency scheme that they believe is unethical, unlawful and unsafe, and which they say puts people in severe mental distress at risk of being denied vital support.
Under the leadership of a police officer and a mental health professional, Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) puts pressure on users of mental health services – often those at high risk of suicide and self-harm – who have not committed a crime but are seen as ‘high-intensity users’ of emergency services.
There are concerns that this can involve withholding assessment and treatment, and gives police officers a key role in making clinical decisions when service-users are in crisis.
The new StopSIM Coalition has warned that the system is being rolled out across NHS England, despite the lack of high-quality research into its impact on service-users.
The coalition of service-users and allies says it has ‘grave concerns’ about SIM and wants to see the use of the scheme halted while an independent review is carried out into its ‘evidence base, safety, legality, ethics, governance and acceptability to service users.’”