Police say their new mental health crisis response team is a valuable resource.
Inspector Sharon Komar says crisis response workers ride with police to mental health-related calls and can stay with the person in crisis while they’re admitted to the hospital.
She says this frees up valuable time for officers, but the team is only available from 2 AM to 2 PM.
Officers were called to 538 mental health-related incidents, and crisis workers joined them in just under half of those.
In just over 100 cases, she notes the crisis team allowed police to quickly move on to another call instead of staying with the individual at the hospital.
Komar says between June 11 and October 8 police attended 107 mental health-related calls without a crisis worker.
The Inspector adds they want to expand the pilot into a full program and run it 24 hours a day.
She notes the province only provided enough funding to run the service from June until this upcoming March.
Komar points out the mental health service also cuts down on wait times for treatment “significantly” once the individual is at the hospital.