An £800,000 project is being rolled out to place mental health specialists at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the Kittybrewster police station.
Under the scheme, workers will intervene to determine whether there are any underlying mental health needs in people who have been admitted to hospital, or arrested, and provide appropriate support.
The initiative, which will cost around £800,000 over two years, is being funded through the Scottish Government’s mental health strategy 2017-2027, a 10-year project which aims to improve mental health services across Scotland.
The scheme is being put in place locally by the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP), and will involve mental health specialists working on site at the police’s custody suite in Kittybrewster and the accident and emergency department at the city’s largest hospital.
ACHSCP’s community mental health leader, Kevin Dawson, said: “The ambition is to provide a timely and compassionate service for people who need prompt access to a dedicated mental health worker.”
Mental Health Aberdeen chief executive Astrid Whyte said: “It’s a brilliant idea, in fact it’s essential.
“We know so much more now about mental wellbeing, and that certain behaviours are due to underlying issues or feelings.
“It’s a good idea to be aware of people’s mental health before they are processed too far into the system.
“I’ve done a lot of work with prisons in the past and I know a lot of people in there are suffering from mental health issues.
“If you treat the problem rather than the behaviour, you’re far more likely to have a decent outcome.
“As long as the dedicated mental health workers are high calibre and fully trained, then this is a really good idea.”