Mental health support scheme for witnesses of traumatic events inspired by 'harrowing' incident near Tring

‘One lady was so traumatised that she hid in undergrowth beside the dual carriageway’
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Witnesses of traumatic events in Dacorum will be given mental health support and guidance by police.

The new scheme was inspired by Intervention Inspector Adam Clark’s time as a frontline officer in Dacorum.

He explained: “The idea for the cards came about when I was a sergeant in Dacorum after I dealt with a harrowing incident on the A41 just outside Tring, when a vulnerable young woman attempted suicide by falling from the bridge over the carriageway. She survived, but a lot of motorists saw what happened.

Support will be offered to witnesses of traumatic eventsSupport will be offered to witnesses of traumatic events
Support will be offered to witnesses of traumatic events

“One lady was so traumatised by what she had witnessed that she hid in undergrowth beside the dual carriageway, and I ended up taking her home to her family to ensure she was okay.

"However, I did not know where to signpost her for additional help to address the trauma and felt there was more that could be done.”

He added: “These new cards will help us deliver an improved service to members of the public working closely with health colleagues.”

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The double-sided card – designed in collaboration with the Mental Health in Policing team and the NHS – directs people to the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust’s (HPFT) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, the online portal for mental health services in Hertfordshire.

The portal provides access to a wide range of confidential talking therapy treatments and practical support for adults with common mental health problems, as well as self-help resources and where to go when experiencing a mental health crisis.

Victims and witnesses of crime will be offered a referral to Beacon, commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.