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New pilot project sees Winnipeg police and wellness workers respond to crisis calls

Click to play video: 'New pilot project sees Winnipeg police and wellness workers respond to crisis calls' New pilot project sees Winnipeg police and wellness workers respond to crisis calls
Mental health workers will join Winnipeg police officers who respond to wellness checks as part of a new pilot project beginning next month. Joe Scarpelli reports. – Nov 29, 2021

Mental health workers will join Winnipeg police officers who respond to wellness checks as part of a new pilot project beginning next month.

The Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis is a new program that includes the Winnipeg Police Service, Shared Health crisis response services and the city.

It will see four designated officers team up with a group of clinicians to respond mental health calls where specialized services may be needed.

Read more: Provinces calling on federal government to increase mental health funding

The team with operate over a 12-hour period from Monday to Friday.

Winnipeg police say the team will provide mental health support during a reported crisis as well as followup services such as resources for addictions treatment or ways to access housing.

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Police say wellness calls have increased during the past year and officers can receive more than 15 calls a day requesting help.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police using new tool to deal with encounters related to mental health' Winnipeg police using new tool to deal with encounters related to mental health
Winnipeg police using new tool to deal with encounters related to mental health – Jul 24, 2018

The move comes as grassroots groups across the country have been calling for alternatives to police responding to mental health calls following the police-shooting deaths of Chantal Moore and Rodney Levi last year. Both died after officers responded to wellness checks.

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