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Police officer wins award for mental health work

Police officer wins award for mental health work
26th January 2010

A police officer in Hackney is revolutionising the way that the force interacts with people who suffer from mental health problems, it has been revealed.

PC Richard Harwin, from the Metropolitan Police, has received a Una Padel Award for innovative liaison work with local charity City and Hackney Mind.

Anna Bird, policy and campaigns manager at the charity, commented: "He's leading the field in improving police links with mental health services and service users and his input into Mind's work on both a local and national level has been invaluable."

PC Harwin was originally trained as a psychiatric nurse and has drawn on his experiences to deliver training and awareness programmes to his force and create ties between the police and local mental health services.

Figures released last week by the Care Quality Commission showed that people from black and minority ethnic communities remain three times more likely than average to be detained under the Mental Health Act, findings which Mind has described as "unacceptable".

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