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Mental health training intervention for North Yorkshire Police

Researchers: Professor Martin Webber and Dr Nicola Moran

Funder: Police Knowledge Fund

Duration: September 2015 to March 2017


The International Centre for Mental Health Social Research is partner in a new £1 million collaboration between the University of York and North Yorkshire Police which is being led by Professor Martin Smith. It is part of the £10 million Police Knowledge Fund (PKF) launched to encourage collaboration between academia and police forces. Each collaboration aims to increase evidence-based knowledge, skills and problem solving approaches within policing.


This strand of the PKF project involves the development, delivery and evaluation of a training intervention for North Yorkshire Police (NYP) around mental health.  The aim of the training is to increase police officers’ understanding and awareness of mental health vulnerabilities in the people with whom they come into contact – victims, offenders, suspects and others – in order to help them:

  • appropriately identify people with mental health vulnerabilities
  • better record mental health vulnerabilities
  • ensure a consistent response from NYP to those with mental health vulnerabilities
  • refer people with mental health vulnerabilities to other services/agencies for help and support and share information about individual vulnerability appropriately
  • review the effectiveness of each of the above.


The York Trials Unit are undertaking a review of mental health training for police and associated professions.  This will inform the development of the mental health training package.  ICMHSR will design and develop the training package which will be delivered by police training officers and mental health nurses. 

The evaluation will employ a randomised controlled trial design. Police stations will be randomised into either:

  • the intervention group (in which officers receive the mental health training) 
  • the control group (in which officers receive the mental health training after the six month follow-up period when all data has been collected). 

Data will be collected at baseline to assess all officers’ understanding, awareness, knowledge and attitudes toward mental health vulnerabilities; and again after six months.  Data collection will include self-complete questionnaires and in-depth qualitative interviews.  The effectiveness of the training will be assessed against a range of outcome measures.

If you require further information about the project, please contact Nicola Moran.

Associated Research

Co-production of Policing Evidence, Research and Training: Focus Mental Health

developing mechanisms to change practice and culture surrounding recording and working with people with mental health problems, both criminals and victims.


Co-design, co-evaluation and co-learning: street triage, mental health and policing in North Yorkshire

mental health practitioners providing support to front-line police officers in incidents where an individual appears to be in immediate need of mental health support.