The RCMP and Interior Health are working together to improve response to mental health and substance abuse-related calls. (Black Press file photo)

The RCMP and Interior Health are working together to improve response to mental health and substance abuse-related calls. (Black Press file photo)

RCMP and Interior Health working on mental health response

Groups have met to discuss better handling of mental health and substance abuse-related calls

RCMP leadership in Southeastern B.C. has been meeting with the Interior Health Authority to improve the response to mental-health-related calls to police.

Last fall, senior managers from the RCMP Southeast District met with officials from the health authority and discussions have continued since. According to the RCMP, a working group has been formed to identify issues and challenges related to police interactions with people experiencing mental health or substance abuse crises in the Southern Interior. The groups agreed to create a standardized crisis response and a consistent service model for the communities they serve.

Read More: Police in Penticton need help responding to mental health crises: RCMP Constable

Read More: RCMP brass addresses concerns over recent actions of police in the Southeast District

“My team is fully committed to working with Interior Health on finding solutions together,” said Southeast District commander Supt. Brad Haugli.

“I am encouraged by the fact that the working group will develop a roadmap to guide us on expanding our support and services to our communities, and to those in crisis. This is a priority for all of us.”

The move comes after calls from the public for better police response when it came to wellness calls, most notably in the summer after news broke of UBC Okanagan student Mona Wang being dragged down a hallway and stomped on by an officer during a wellness check. Wang filed a civil lawsuit against the officer, which publicized a video of the incident in June 2020.

Shortly after, Hauglicalled for the expansion of crisis teams, allowing more nurses to respond alongside officers to mental-health calls. Interior Health denied those initial requests stating scarce resources were better utilized elsewhere.

According to an RCMP statement, the development of the shared response is now in its early stages.

“Interior Health welcomes the opportunity to work closely with our RCMP colleagues to support people in crisis,” said Roger Parsonage, interim vice president, Interior Health.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Karen Hudema, 71, admitted she felt left out due to her hearing loss, but now, after being awarded free hearing devices through the National Campain for Better Hearing Program from HearingLife Canada, she says her self-esteem has been restored. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
‘I have my self-esteem back’: Vernon senior awarded hearing aids

Free testing leads to life-changing improvement for local lady

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Protesting farmers and their families gather around a bonfire to mark the harvest festival, which is called Lohri, on a blocked highway in protest against new farm laws on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Changes in India’s farm laws could potentially open up one of the world’s most populous markets and are being closely watched by Canada’s agricultural and economic sectors, say experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Altaf Qadri
UBCO students asking for support in raising funds for Indian farmers

UBCO’s Bhangra Club and Punjabi Student Association are raising funds for Khalsa Aid

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Most Read