The Metropolitan police have issued a warning that they will reduce their response to mental health-related emergency calls within three months. The police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, expressed concern over the significant amount of time officers were spending on mental health issues and waiting for medical care. As a result, the force plans to implement the Right Care, Right Person scheme (RCRP), which prioritizes health and social care agencies for non-life-threatening situations.
Campaigners are alarmed by the decision, citing the underfunding of mental health services and the potential for further harm. They argue that police involvement in such emergencies can lead to negative outcomes and call for alternative solutions. The reduction in police response exacerbates the existing crisis in mental health emergency care, caused by underfunding, understaffing, and a lack of suitable alternatives. The withdrawal of emergency response could potentially lead to serious harm, given the current state of mental health services. Campaigners urge a response that values the lives and dignity of those affected. The decision by the Metropolitan police has generated significant public response, with concerns raised about the inadequacy of mental health services and police resources.
Professor Peter Beresford emphasizes the need for urgent government action and mental health reform to increase support and funding. Dr. Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, expresses sympathy for the challenges faced by the police but highlights the need for careful consideration of the consequences for patients, the public, and police officers. The Metropolitan police state that officers are not trained to deliver mental health care and spend a considerable amount of time in hospitals waiting for patient assessments. They stress that health services should take primary responsibility for mental health care, allowing the police to focus on their core duties in crime prevention and community safety.
Listen to Dis’: Disability-Led Arts Organisation
Listen to Dis’ are the inclusivity-focused, disability-led arts organisation championing disability culture through art and performance
Listen to Dis’ is a registered non-profit community arts organisation that champions disability culture through the medium of inclusive art and performance. Their work manifests in many forms including workshops, artist series and theatrical touring, and everything has an underlying message to support and empower the global disabled community.
Here we highlight how Listen to Dis’ is bringing this message to life:
Listen to Dis’ VOICE
Listen to Dis’ VOICE is a weekly open-access program where artists join forces to learn, create, explore, and connect. The focus topic changes each week yet is always in keeping with the Listen to Dis’ core message of advocating for the disabled community. Through this profound program, Listen to Dis’ has created some truly important work surrounding ableist ways disabled bodies and minds are viewed.
The Other Ordinary
The Other Ordinary is Listen to Dis’ touring crip theatre company. Launched out of a class at the University of Regina named Devising Inclusive Theatre, and directed by Listen to Dis’ founder and artistic director Traci Foster. Dubbed TOO, it fosters the talents of emerging professional artists that produce tour shows with a focus on how it feels to live and work as disabled people.
Take their first show, ‘Neither Heroes nor Ordinary People,’ as a prime example, which uncovers the realities of living with disabilities through music, monologue, dance, beatbox, and singing. Their second show, Mine to Have, is about sexuality, sensuality, disability, and
the political right to live in one’s body.
Visiting Artist Series
LTD’s visiting artist series connects disabled artists with the wider arts ecology by inviting artists, both disabled and not, to host workshops that explore disability art. Inviting artists from outside the LTD’s group enables LTD’s network to expand but also ignites deeper learning on both parts of the essence of disability culture and mindset.
LTD’s is amplifying the voices of the disabled community through a variety of mediums that all celebrate art, performance and culture. Follow their journey on their Instagram here.
Through facilitated dialogue and inclusive art practice and performance, we weave new realities for our members and for the broader community – shifting the way people perceive disability and creating an understanding of and appreciation for crip art, mad art, and disability culture.
ArtsAbility Festival Celebrates Disabled South African Artists
ArtsAbility Festival celebrates artists with disabilities who showcase art pieces and performances during National Disability Rights Awareness Month
The eighth instalment of ArtsAbility Festival, held in late 2022, was themed “Disability, Dance and Diversity” and was a collaboration of Artscape with the Unmute Dance Company, who have partnered with guest productions from overseas that include Diversity in Dance UK, and Sensorium EX.
The festival, which is based in Capetown in South Africa, was initiated to pursue an innovative, creative space of exciting, heartfelt performances for disabled and able-bodied artists and performers. So, through inclusivity, performances, dialogue and workshops, the festival uses arts to employ social transformations that will address the issues people with disabilities are experiencing in their lives.
However, a research report documented in the African Journal of Disability explained a critical ethnographic study, headed by the Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux, which found out that youth with disabilities who were exposed to theatre performances was mostly influenced by becoming aware of possibilities for social and economic inclusion.
The Unmute productions activities were held on 30th November 2022 — saw on stage, two new works presented by the Unmute Dance Italian artist, dancer, and choreographer Alessandro Schiatarella.
Another production was staged on 1st December 2022 by the queer disabled artist Louise Westerhout, it captured a journey of struggles and triumphs in an altered body after treatment for stage 4 cancer and hip/ femur replacement.
The Diversity in Dance UK performances was staged on the 2nd and 3rd of December — aiming to expose all artists to the diversity of cultures through performing arts while creating a great standard of work that can attain huge recognition on the global stage.
Taking part in some of the performances are Pallavi Nair, Chinyanta Kabaso and Jia McKenzie, who is a deaf dancer. While the Unmute Dancers productions featured Nadine MacKensie, Yaseen Manuel and Tasmin Andrews.
The Artscape ArtsAbility Festival partnered with Sensorium EX to help stage a collaborative performance where artists can share with interesting audiences the magic of expression through the use of technology.
“Our aim is to build new methods for co-creation and inclusive practices in opera by developing approaches to casting and the artistic process which centre access, inclusion, and lived experience as the driving forces of the creative process,” said Paola Prestini, a composer and artistic director.
The Sensorium Ex opera is being funded by the following international organisations; Ford Foundation, VisionIntoArt, Beth Morrison Projects, the Atlanta Opera, and Enactlab.