Help for the vulnerable on the Costa del Sol

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LOCAL POLICE on the Costa del Sol have taken part in a course learning how to deal with those suffering from mental illness.

The workshop, which was organised by Velez Malaga’s Department of Social Welfare and Equality alongside the Malaga Association of Relatives of Patients with Schizophrenia (AFENES), took place at the Palacio del Marques Beniel.

Zoila Martin, Velez Malaga’s Councillor for Social Welfare and Equality, explained the class would “equip officers with the tools to help the mentally ill,” adding the town had signed up to the scheme “so that Local Police handle situations involving ill mental health sensitively.”

The Local Police chief, Jose Andres Montoya, lamented “the frequency with which the police have to intervene in case involving the mentally ill,” explaining, “the work carried out by the Local Police must be more preventative.”

The course, which was held yesterday, was taught by Miguel Acosta, President of AFENES Malaga, his colleague at the association, Juan Francisco del Campo, as well as 3 psychiatrists and a lawyer. The event addressed subjects including, “why people discriminate against mental illness,” “major mental disorders requiring action in an emergency,” “differences between psychotic personalities and people with schizophrenia,” and “the mental health care model in Andalucia.”

Miguel Acosta, commented, “AFENES want to show the security services how they should deal with people suffering from a mental illness, and encourage officers to talk to and share experiences with mental health professionals.”

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