The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed a modest fall in the number of people detained in Wales under the Mental Health Act but have urged faster progress and expressed concern that two police forces detained more people than last year.
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The total number of people detained fell from 1,825 people in the 12 months to March 2017 to 1,746 in the 12 months to March 2018. Detentions by North Wales and South Wales police forces increased whilst Dyfed-Powys and Gwent police forces detained fewer people.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Cllr Bablin Molik commented:
It’s encouraging to see detentions under the Mental Health Act fall, but much more needs to be done. We will not be satisfied until no-one in Wales is detained because of their mental health.
Those experiencing a mental health crisis should be treated by mental health professionals, not detained by police.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds added:
We welcome the progress Gwent Police have made in drastically reducing the number of people they detain under the Mental Health Act by treating, not detaining those experiencing a mental health crisis. I urge other police forces in Wales to follow their lead.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have a proud record of fighting for parity of esteem between mental and physical health. We will not give up this fight until no-one in Wales needs to be detained due to their mental illness.