Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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TO officially recognise a partnership between Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT), an official agreement has been made between the two services.
The two organisations have been working together to improve the safety and wellbeing of people with mental health needs and first joined forces in 2009.
GMFRS' Assistant County Fire Officer, Peter O'Reilly, and MMHSCT's Chief Nurse and Director of Quality Assurance Anita Rolfe signed the agreement at Fire Service Headquarters in Swinton on Monday, August 11, 2014.
Director of Prevention and Protection Peter O'Reilly said: "There are a number of factors which can increase fire risk, and these can include living alone, chaotic lifestyles, hoarding, use of substances such as alcohol and drugs, memory impairment and smoking.
"Some of these factors are often more common for individuals in contact with mental health services.
"GMFRS has been working with MMHSCT for a number of years after we discovered that over 30 per cent of people who died in fires across Greater Manchester were known to mental health services.
"We are delighted that GMFRS and MMHSCT now have a formal partnership agreement and will ensure that we continue to build on the excellent foundations that already exist."
The agreement means that GMFRS and MMHSCT can continue to help members of the community at higher risk from dangers such as fire in the home and will see GMFRS' community safety staff enter of houses of even more people to give life-saving advice.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by a mental health problem, you can contact the charity Mind on 0300 123 3393 or visit www.mind.org.uk for advice and support, along with your GP.
If you want to talk to someone call the Samaritans on 08457 909090.