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RCMP, Interior Health establish ‘working group’ to address mental health crisis calls

File photo of an RCMP vehicle. Global News

Interior Health and the BC RCMP have partnered to address the overwhelming need on how to deal with individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis during police incidents.

A ‘working group’ has been created to work on enhancing overall response to mental health related calls.

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“My team is fully committed to working with Interior Health on finding solutions together,” said Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli, RCMP Southeast district commander.

“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.”

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Both organizations have agreed the best strategy is to have a collaborative and holistic approach to supporting those who live with mental health issues.

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

“Together, our working group will focus on exploring options to improve crisis response throughout the southern Interior.”

The working group is still in its infancy and will be focusing on developing guidelines for information sharing, as well as creating a joint crisis response plan.

The announcement comes in the wake of public criticism over how the Kelowna RCMP detachment handled a wellness check at the UBC Okanagan campus, involving a student who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

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