Police chiefs embrace health-led response to dealing with people in mental crisis – CBC News – 2020-08-14

Police chiefs say they support closer collaboration with crisis workers to help prevent tragedies when their officers confront people dealing with mental-health issues.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah says sending two police officers to such calls allows only the option of transporting the person in need to a hospital.

He told MPs on the House of Commons public safety committee Friday that dispatching an officer and a crisis worker, on the other hand, allows the response team to get a better sense of what will help the person.

Duraiappah said his Toronto-area force is involved in an average of 18 mental-health apprehensions a day.

There are approaches that integrate health or crisis workers into policing, he said, but not all of the questions about how to do it have been answered.

“It’s still the police trying to find a way to insert mental-health crisis response within our paradigm.”

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