Nurses and Police to Respond to Calls Together

RCMP Veterans’ Association

Veterans Helping Veterans and Their Families


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In Richmond the Force is Working With Nurses When Responding to Mental Health Issue Calls

Dear Association Members,

This is a slightly dated story from the CBC about a new procedure being deployed in “E” Division, more particularly in Vancouver, Surrey and Kamloops.

It is clearly a very progressive step for the Force.

The article follows.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association

 

An unnamed RCMP officer who will be working with the Mental Health Car stands with Supt. William Ng of the Richmond RCMP. (Vancouver Coastal Health) 

British Columbia

Nurses and police to respond to calls together under new Richmond program

Similar projects are in place in Vancouver, Surrey and Kamloops

Estefania Duran · CBC News · Posted: Oct 11, 2019 3:20 PM PT | Last Updated: October 11

A new project in Richmond is pairing police officers with nurses to answer mental health related calls together. 

The program, called the Mental Health Car, was launched Thursday by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Richmond RCMP. A nurse and a specially trained officer will be dispatched to mental health crises in an unmarked vehicle to connect people with the most appropriate services, VCH said. The team will be available seven days a week for 12 hours a day. 

“The Mental Health Car for some can be the first contact for people who are in crisis,” said Tiffany Akins with VCH. “They’ll be able to provide direction, it’ll make people more calm, and feel safe and secure.”

Increase in calls

The project was launched in response to an ongoing increase in calls related to mental health, VCH said. 

“These types of calls can be pretty complex for an officer to respond to,” Akins said, noting that the number of mental health related calls is expected to grow by more than 50 per cent this year, from 1,431 last year to an estimated 2,267 by the end of this year.

Four officers have been handpicked for the unit after going through a comprehensive training process, RCMP said. Two nurses have also been assigned to the program. 

Similar programs are in place in Vancouver, Surrey and Kamloops. 


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