health workers have been deployed to a police control room to make sure vulnerable people get the right help and support.
It is also hoped the 24/7 control room triage service will avoid police officers being sent out ‘unnecessarily’.
The trained mental health professionals are based at Greater Manchester Police’s Clayton Brook communications centre.
They will assess incidents relating to mental health and provide help and support.
Police chiefs say the new NHS service will help to reduce demand on the emergency services.
Officers will also be able to access expert clinical advice over the phone, or through video conferencing, when responding to incidents involving people with mental health problems.
“Very often when police attend an incident, the individual has not committed a crime, but needs urgent mental health help and a place of safety,” said Dr Chris Daly, medical director for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
“Our experts will be well-placed to support officers make informed decisions.”
Dr Daly says the service will support police officers and ensure people living with a mental health issue get the care they need sooner.
The new service has been commissioned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the 10 NHS clinical commissioning groups in Greater Manchester.
It is being delivered by North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, alongside GMP.
Beverley Hughes, deputy mayor for policing and crime, said the authority is working to transform mental health crisis care by bringing police and health partners together.
“Police officers are often the first contact for people going through a mental health crisis so it’s vital they have immediate access to the right help and advice to be able to support those in need,” she said.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts added: “This collaborative approach will see trained mental health professionals working alongside and supporting officers, allowing us to protect the most vulnerable at times of crisis and ensuring the best outcome for the individuals affected at the earliest opportunity.”