RCMP, mental health team is now going seven days a week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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RCMP, mental health team is now going seven days a week

November 28, 2019 - 4:00 PM

A special team that partners an RCMP officer with health care workers to deal with mentally distressed people in Kelowna has moved to seven day a week coverage.

The Police and Crisis Team (PACT) was established in the spring of 2017 in response to the more than 4,000 admissions to Kelowna General Hospital for mental health and addiction issues in 2016.

Up until this week, two specially trained police officers with support from a psychiatric nurse or social worker were operating Tuesdays through Fridays.

It has now expanded its hours to provide coverage seven days a week for about 12 hours each day.

The idea is to respond to calls, evaluate the person and determine who is best suited to deal with them.

“The PACT Team is a crisis team, so they are responding to people experiencing a mental health crisis,” RCMP Cpl. Meghan Foster said in an email. “An intervention is completed where the appropriate resources and support systems are put in place to best serve the client, which in some cases requires apprehension but the goal is to reduce hospital visits and police calls by providing additional resources and support systems to the clients.”

Over the life of the program, the team has averaged seven referrals per shift.

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