Perhaps of most importance of all, Sean will lead efforts to reduce the number of people in our region who tragically take their own lives.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “West Midlands Police has made huge strides forward to ensure the use of police cells for people facing mental health crisis has all but ended, and instead people are conveyed to a suitable health facility.
“In the coming years, I want to see officers and staff across the public sector trained in mental health first aid, individual plans for offenders with mental health needs and increased early intervention and prevention with vulnerable people.
“I also want to see a big change in schemes designed to help those with mental health issues back into training or the workplace.
“The Chief Constable and I have approved the secondment of Sean Russell to the Mental Health Commission to help deliver on my aims.”
Incoming Director of Implementation Sean Russell said: “I am pleased to be given the opportunity to take on this important role for the West Midlands.
“Over the next two years I will strive to bring people together to improve awareness and increase interventions that will help improve mental health across the region.
“I will work with the criminal justice system to improve outcomes and continue to work with the police and other partners to make our communities safer.
“Ultimately, I want our communities to know that we are doing all we can to make sure that mental ill health is being tackled and people are supported.”
Chair of the Mental Health Commission, Norman Lamb MP added: “I am so thrilled that Sean Russell has been appointed to this vital role. I was determined to ensure there was a senior person leading the implementation of the agreed plan of action that we are developing.
“There’s no-one with more credibility in this vital area of work in this region. In my time in the West Midlands, Sean stands out as someone who gets things done. He leads from the front and has strong values. This is a really exciting appointment.”
WMCA lead for mental health Cllr Pete Lowe said: “I am very pleased the combined authority has worked so successfully with the police to arrange this secondment for Sean Russell.
“He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role, having played a major part in the police mental health triage scheme.
“This kind of public sector collaboration reflects the innovative attitude of the combined authority as well as the mental health commission’s drive to explore better ways of working in this field.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner will contribute one third of these costs, health partners will contribute a third, and the final third will be provided by the combined authority.
Sean Russell is set to begin the role before the end of 2016.