Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright is to fund a project to provide support to those suffering from mental distress.
Commissioner Wright announced his funding for the Together Project during Mental Health Awareness Week.
The funding will be matched with funds from The Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group and will be used to establish one of only six national projects.
The Rotherham based project aims to guide vulnerable 18-24 year-olds to the most appropriate sources of help and support to try to reduce the drain on police resources.
The project will employ staff including a forensic mental health practitioner and a support worker, who will work in the police ‘vulnerable persons unit’ at Rotherham to identify and try to work with people in need of support.
The Commissioner has pledged to invest funding for three years.
He said: “My first priority here is the protection of vulnerable people and during Mental Health Awareness Week we all need to spare a thought for those suffering from anxiety and depression.
“My Police and Crime Plan demonstrates my determination to ensure all vulnerable people in South Yorkshire are protected.
“The Together Project directly helps those with vulnerabilities, whilst ensuring they are protected from entering the criminal justice system.
“The resources from these key support workers and practitioners will ensure that alternative measures and support can be provided and will help lead these individuals away from crime and reduce their vulnerability.
“Police and partner resources working together will also help reduce the amount of time officers spend with these individuals when they are not the correct people to do so. In times of austerity this will prioritise our officers back into the neighbourhoods fighting crime and offering the public reassurance that South Yorkshire is a safe place.”