Mental Health and Law Enforcement
On Wednesday 29th September, the University of Akureyri hosted a symposium on mental health and law enforcement.
Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, chief of police for the capital area, discussed interdisciplinary cooperation between the police and mental health services, the development of work procedures regarding law enforcement, and the involvement of the police related to mental health services. Other speakers at the symposium included Simon Cole and Michael Brown, who are British specialists on mental health within the police service in England and Wales.
Simon Cole is Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police and is a leader in mental health issues within the England and Wales police service. He discussed the work of the police, focusing on the development of police involvement in mental health issues over the past ten years.
Michael Brown is a police inspector in the West Midlands, England and is also involved in the education of police officers. He has received many awards for his work on law enforcement and mental health care. Michael discussed projects and challenges related to interdisciplinary work in the field of mental health and policing in England and Wales.
Guðmundur Sævar Sævarsson, a specialist in mental health care and nurse manager of secure & forensic services at National Hospital of Iceland (Landsspítalinn), discussed mental health services in Iceland, focusing on the challenges faced by mental health care and police officers in their work.
Users of the mental health care services also shared their experiences of their relationships with the police.
The symposium concluded with panel discussions, during which the future of interdisciplinary cooperation and education in the field of police and mental health was explored as wekk as the approach of the University of Akureyri to issues of mental health and policing.
The symposium, which was open to the public, was held in English and Icelandic.