Rethink Mental Illness statement on High Intensity Networks

22 April 2021

In recent weeks we have become aware of growing and serious concerns about the High Intensity Networks/the Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) model, which is being used in some parts of the country.

Lucy Schonegevel, Associate Director for Policy and Practice, said:

"This model seeks to support high-intensity users of emergency services “who struggle with complex trauma and behavioural disorders” to reduce “intensive demand on police, ambulance, A&E departments, and mental health crisis teams”.

Serious concerns have been raised highlighting that this may result in the potential withholding of life-saving treatment to people in crisis and that the model has not been sufficiently evaluated.

While Rethink Mental Illness can fully understand the motivation to reduce demand on emergency services, this need must be balanced against three core principles.

First, that no one is ever denied access to life-saving treatment. Secondly, that people need access to the appropriate personalised and trauma-informed care for their needs, delivered by appropriate health and social care professionals. Thirdly, that all models of care are genuinely co-produced with people with lived experience.

Rethink Mental Illness has not been consulted on the model. So we recognise at this point there is more we need to know about it from both its advocates and service users.

In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to both to develop a better understanding of what is happening and why, with the aim of ensuring understandable concerns raised are answered."