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by | Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 | News

Children and young people who are experiencing severe mental health issues will now benefit from a brand new Place of Safety at Plym Bridge House.

Plym Bridge House is a 12 bedded regional unit for children and young people aged 12 – 18 years who present with severe and complex mental health issues that can’t be supported in the community. It serves the population of Plymouth, Devon and Torbay but takes young people from all over the south west if required, and is staffed by a full multidisciplinary team who support both the young person and their families during their admission.

The Place of Safety suite is for anyone under the age of 18 who is detained by the police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act and is designed to provide a comfortable, safe and containing environment for young people while they undergo a Mental Health Act Assessment.

Section 136 of the Mental Health Act is part of the law which allows you to be taken to a place of safety if a police officer thinks you have a mental illness and require immediate ‘care or control’. You should get a Mental Health Act assessment whilst on this section – after your assessment you may be discharged or you may need to stay in hospital under a different section of the Mental Health Act.

While there has been an interim Place of Safety suite based at Plym Bridge House since March 2015, a temporary move in January offered an opportunity to build an extension and redesign, resulting in a purpose-built space that meets required specifications and, more importantly, is a lovely space for any young person in crisis.

Sarah Goddard, Deputy Head of Children, Young People and Families Service, said: “Having a dedicated under 18 years Place of Safety means that no child across Devon has to be taken to an inappropriate environment such as police custody, the Emergency Department, hospital wards or an adult Place of Safety.

“Our staff are trained and experienced at working with children and young people and the environment is suitable for young people presenting with high levels of distress.

“We’re looking forward to using this facility to improve the experience for our children and young people, and the professionals that support them.”

Joe, aged 17, spoke to NEW Devon CCG about his experience at Plym Bridge House. You can watch this here:

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