A 24-hour response team in West Yorkshire is easing the pressure on emergency services

One consequence of the closure of so many mental hospitals since the 1960s has been the increase in the number of people being sent far from their homes when they have needed a bed to receive treatment. However, a scheme in Bradford is showing that you can stop such out-of-area placements altogether by strengthening community-based care and support.

“You can live in Lancashire and have to go to Cornwall for a hospital bed,” says Chris Dixon, clinical manager of the First Response crisis scheme. “It’s hugely detrimental to people’s mental health because it’s harder to recover when you are hundreds of miles from home and don’t have family and friends around you.”

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".