The Alberta RCMP says it offers a therapeutic approach to mental health crisis calls in central Alberta.
“The Alberta RCMP recognizes the importance of responding effectively to mental health crises,” stated a recent news release.
“Police are frequently the primary frontline response to mental health crises, and it is vital to establish and support the most effective model of police response since the requirement is growing.”
The Alberta RCMP has Regional Police and Crisis Teams (RPACT) across Alberta that are a community-based mobile response where RCMP officers and mental health professionals work together as a team to respond to mental health calls for service.
In Red Deer, there is also a partnership specifically with the Primary Care Network to deliver these services.
In 2020, there were over 20,000 files associated to the Mental Health Act. By September 2021, the Alberta RCMP already had 16,908 such files.
Responding to mental health calls through RPACT can impact outcomes, says the RCMP.
“It is most appropriate to offer a collaborative approach, pairing police with professionals to provide thorough mental health assessments,” the release continued.
“Police and crisis team mental health professionals provide a level of clinical expertise that enables comprehensive support for the individual in crisis. As well, given the unpredictability and volatility associated with the response to mental health crises, the combined expertise of police and mental health professionals helps to increase safety for all those involved.
“The Alberta RCMP continues to be committed to providing appropriate mental health supports for public safety and community well-being throughout the province.”