New guidance to improve mental health outcomes for victims of violence
Published: 11 July 2012
- 11 July 2012
Victims of violent crime can be at risk of developing mental health problems
A report published on Wednesday 11 July sets out new guidance to improve mental health outcomes for people affected by violence.
The guidance Managing the impact of violence on mental health, including among witnesses and those affected by homicide has been developed jointly by The Royal College of General Practitioners, The College of Emergency Medicine and Victim Support.
According to The Royal College of Psychiatrists, the mental health needs of victims of violence are going unrecognised and there is a lack of joined-up services to support their needs.
People who are injured in or affected by physical violence, including sexual violence, are at risk of developing mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and substance misuse problems. But services to help these people are relatively underdeveloped.
The new guidance includes recommendations to show how emergency departments, GPs and the criminal justice system can work better together to identify people who show signs of mental ill health and provide them with information about relevant support services.
Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Victim Support said: "Our trained volunteers have been helping victims deal with the emotional and psychological effects of all kinds of crime for nearly 40 years. We are therefore keenly aware of the psychological impact that being a victim of violent crime can have.
"Victim Support has systems to identify and refer victims to mental health services, where it is needed.
"However, greater collaboration between all the agencies and individuals involved to ensure that more victims with trauma-related and mental health conditions are identified and appropriately referred would benefit all involved – not least victims.
"We look forward to working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other parties to ensure more victims get the help they need."