The 'demand for mental health services is outstripping supply' says Sangita Myska

29 May 2023, 15:49

Sangita Myska: 'Demand for mental health services is outstripping supply'

By Anna Fox

Sangita Myska shares her "worries" about the impending impact of the Met police halting their attendance at emergency mental health calls.

The police have been “forced” due to cuts to mental health services into becoming an “emergency social service unit” according to Sangita Myska.

Sharing her “‘worries” about Sir Mark Rowley’s plans, Sangita said: “If the Met stop answering those calls to people who are in distress, who have mental health issues, who is going to step into their place?”

Her concerns arose as in a letter to the Guardian, Sir Mark Rowley announced he will order his officers not to attend thousands of calls they get every year to deal with mental health incidents.

Read more: Met Police to stop attending emergency calls linked to mental health in bid to 'focus on crime'

The Met Chief has provided health and social care services with a deadline of 31 August before the force starts its ban, which will only be waived if a threat to life is feared.

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Sangita read aloud a warning from the BMA to the government which stated the “demand for mental health services is outstripping supply”.

Outlining her viewpoint that the health service has been treated like a “Cinderella service”, Sangita stated: “They are in a state of managed decline”.

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Continuing she said: “If the Met act too soon, it could jeopardise the welfare of hundreds, if not thousands of people, here in the capital city”.

Accusing Sir Mark Rowley, NHS, and the government of playing a game of “brinksmanship”, Sangita stated the police have become a “de facto emergency social services unit”.

The Met chief believes the move is urgently required because officers are being diverted from their core role of fighting crime and patients who need medical experts are being failed when a police officer attends instead.