- Publication date
- 20 November 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
- RAN Publications Topic
- Multi-agency cooperation
On 28 and 29 March 2023, the RAN Mental Health Working Group meeting on ‘Enhancing the cooperation between mental health practitioners and security forces in P/CVE’ took place in The Hague, the Netherlands. Mental health practitioners and police officers jointly discussed the importance of and possibilities for enhancing the needed cooperation between the mental health and security sectors in the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE).
During the meeting practitioners from both sectors formulated practical recommendations for their peers and discussed what is needed from policymakers and researchers. Key points of this meeting include:
- The importance of cooperation is widely felt since many recent cases related to violent extremism seem to involve possible mental health issues (1). Sharing information and discussing this information jointly will help to broaden the perspective and the ability to really assess if indeed the person(s) involved do have mental health issues and the possible security risk. In addition, cooperation will support the use of the best fitting interventions and either have a better chance at preventing further radicalisation or violence or supporting a sustainable reintegration into society.
- The wish of practitioners of both sectors to cooperate and exchange information about a person is often hampered by (perceived) limitations stemming from legislation, client confidentiality regulations, GDPR rules, and other information sharing regulation or ethical motivations. Oftentimes practitioners just do not know precisely what they can and cannot do, which leaves them shying away from sharing information. It would help if practitioners know when and how they must and can share information. and what kind.
- The involvement of mental health practitioners in a P/CVE-related case is easier when the focus is on the intention of behaviour rather than labelling something as extremism or not.
- Training of mental health practitioners in P/CVE and training police officers in mental health creates a better understanding of the work and role of practitioners from both sectors.
This paper summarises the main conclusions following the discussions and presentations and lists the topics that the practitioners present at this meeting deemed of added value to discuss during the foreseen cross-cutting meeting with policymakers and researchers end of 2023.