Police and mental health

Explains when you may have contact with the police, what happens if you are arrested and what your rights are if you are taken to the police station. Applies to England and Wales.

Your stories

The night I spent in a cell

Claire blogs about why a police cell was the last place she needed to be during a mental health crisis.

Posted on 27/11/2014

Mental illness and violence

Marion Janner on substance abuse, stigma and sense of self.

Posted on 01/03/2010

Crisis care in Wales

Sara blogs about the changes to crisis care in Wales resulting from the Crisis Care Concordat.

Sara Moseley
Posted on 17/05/2017

Useful contacts

Mind Legal Line

0300 466 6463 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
[email protected]

The Mind Legal Line can provide you with legal information and general advice.

Civil Legal Advice

0845 345 4345

The Civil Legal Advice can tell you if you’re eligible for legal aid and can give you free and confidential legal advice in England and Wales.

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)


0300 020 0096  press 2 at prompt (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales. (Formerly called the Independent Police Complaints Commission)

The Law Society

020 7242 1222 (England)
029 2064 5254 (Wales)

The Law Society provides details of solicitors you can get in touch with for specialist legal advice.

Legal aid checker


Tells you whether you are entitled to free legal advice, and where you can find legal advisors that specialise in criminal law (England and Wales).

Revolving Doors Agency

020 7407 0747
[email protected]

England-based charity that works to improve services for people with multiple problems, including poor mental health, who are in repeat contact with the criminal justice system.

Where can I get support?

Local Mind

Local Minds support over 280,000 people across England and Wales. Their services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. They may be able to help you find advocacy services in your area.

Find your local Mind here.

Find an advocate

An advocate is a person who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. Having an advocate can be helpful in situations where you are finding it difficult to make your views known, or to make people listen to them and take them into account.

For information on advocacy services and groups in your area, you could start by contacting the Mind Legal Advice Line and your local Mind.

Read more about how advocacy might help you.


This information was published in November 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

Mental Health A-Z

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