The street triage scheme, to be trialled in West Yorkshire, sees mental health nurses accompany police to incidents where it is believed people need urgent help.
The programme is designed to keep people out of custody and reduce demands on police time. Officers in North Yorkshire and Derbyshire are already setting up a scheme. Health experts will also give advice to police control rooms, as well as assisting officers on emergency calls.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: “By providing police forces with the support of health professionals we can give officers the skills they need to treat vulnerable people appropriately in times of crisis.”
Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, Damian Green, added: “These pilots will help ensure people with serious mental health issues are given the appropriate care and support, while ensuring police officers’ time is freed up to fight crime.”
Director of nursing at Public Health England, Vivienne Bennett, said: “By doing this it ensures people needing assistance are in the right environment and have access to better treatment and care.”