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Training for Police and Other First Responders

A 2008 research study by the Vancouver Police Department found that more than one-third of all calls for Vancouver Police involve people with mental health issues. In the Downtown Eastside, it increases to almost one in every two calls. A CMHA BC Division study found that over 30% of people came into contact with police during their first experience trying to access mental health care in BC.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model, developed in Memphis in 1988, is recognized as a gold standard in the United States in police response to persons in mental health crisis. This model has been adapted and improved in some areas of BC through a community-based training and post-training liaison development model engaging a range of community first responders.

BC Association of Chiefs of Police

The BC Association of Chiefs of Police at a meeting in Victoria BC on November 20, 2008 unanimously passed the following motion:

“That the BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) recognize that mental health issues are a serious societal issue; and further that the BCACP support in principle an inter-agency, inter-disciplinary approach to dealing with mental health issues and further that, increasing awareness and skills throughout the province amongst public safety and health agencies is vital. Finally, a copy of this resolution is provided to Police Services Division for furtherance to our Minister of Public Safety for distribution to other applicable Ministers.”

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