Mental health professionals will be employed at two key Aberdeen locations in a bid to improve services in the north-east.
Individuals in emotional distress and who present themselves at Kittybrewster Police Station and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary will be helped by this new scheme.
Called a mental wellbeing hub, the project will cost more than £800,000 and is being jointly developed by both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils.
It will lead to mental health professionals being employed at the Kittybrewster custody suite and the emergency department at ARI who will offer support to those in need.
The local authorities are looking for an organisation to run this service for two years, with an option to extend the contract for a further two years depending on how successful it is.
In total, the project will cost £821,602, which will go towards the cost of staffing the service and buying the materials needed.
It will be used by patients from across the north-east.
The funding for the project has come from Action 15, which is part of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 and maps out a 10-year vision to improve mental health services across Scotland.
The aim of the scheme is to allow anyone in police custody or turning up at A&E displaying mental health issues to be helped as soon as possible on site and not have to wait for an expert to be called in.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
It will take advantage of current space at both sites.
Kevin Dawson, Aberdeen Council Health and Social Care Partnership’s lead for community mental health, learning disabilities and substance misuse services, said: “The service aims to enhance the existing specialist mental health pathway for people who are experiencing mental health distress.
“The ambition is to provide a timely and compassionate service for people who need prompt access to a dedicated mental health worker and have come to the attention of Police Scotland at the custody suite at Kittybrewster or who present to the A&E Department at ARI.
“Across Grampian, more than £3 million of ring-fenced funding is set to be invested by 2021/22 to bring in the additional mental health workers to achieve this aim.
“The emergency department and the custody suite take in people from both the city and the shire areas. The service model, therefore, has been developed jointly and will be evaluated jointly.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police Scotland remains committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of care provision to all those in our custody.
“Whenever opportunities arise to work with relevant partners to provide additional welfare support to those in our custody, we will consider these accordingly.”