Detentions under mental health act rise in South Yorkshire town

The number of people in Barnsley detained under the mental health act increased both during and after the lockdown in March.

Friday, 11th December 2020, 7:00 am

Barnsley’s Chief Superintendent Sarah Poolman said that mental health concerns had risen since March, and she expects the force to see a long-term impact of COVID on people’s mental health in the next year.

Chief Supt Poolman said: “It’s difficult to give exact numbers around mental health because it presents in so many different ways.

“What we did see was during the first lockdown with an increase in Section 136 detention, where the police detain someone who seems to pose a risk to themselves or others

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PICTURE POSED BY MODEL A man showing signs of depression. Picture: PA

“Mental health concerns are rising amongst the general populace. This is no great surprise, due to the isolation many have been subject to during the lockdowns.

“It’s not just the lockdowns, we have had people who are shielding for nine months now on their own, that’s a huge amount of time to be left with your own mind.

“We’re going to see the long term impact of COVID on mental health for the next year or so.”

Mental health charity MIND warned that more people have experienced a mental health crisis during the coronavirus pandemic than ever previously recorded.

Calls to its helpline have also increased, with calls being twice the usual volume on several days in November.

The charity has seen up to 500 calls a day to its helpline in October, twice the number it would usually see at this time of year.


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.