PACER

The Police and Clinician Emergency Response (PACER) model was developed as a dual secondary response service with mental health personnel travelling with police and working together to manage individuals in crisis and reduce transportations to the Emergency Department. In 2018, the Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre explored a partnership with the Inner-West PACER team to develop and pilot a model for delivering free legal help to people experiencing a mental health crisis who come into contact with PACER. In 2019, IMCL received a grant of assistance from the Victorian Legal Services Board, with thanks to the in principle support of Victoria Police, Melbourne Health and Inner West Area Mental Health Services. With a direct referral pathway to an IMCL PACER lawyer, the project will aim to assist individuals to ameliorate the impact of legal issues that exacerbate their mental health crises. This contributes to improving the wellbeing of people with a lived experience of psychiatric or mental health emergencies and their carers. IMCL also believes that early intervention to address consumers’ legal issues has a resulting benefit for co-responders (police and clinicians) by lessening the demands upon them and the health and justice systems.