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SHOT TO DEATH: Is Almaguin OPP equipped to handle mental health calls?

"If someone is having a mental health crisis now, they're going to be less likely to call the police and get that help...”

Monday, August 16, 2021

Article submitted by Steve Hall

Written by Sarah Cooke and Kristyn Anthony from the Almaguin News

Read the article:

Trained crisis workers in the community ready to ride along with police

The mother of three was shot by police on August 5. Jackson, a mother of three who had just lost her 20-year-old daughter in June, also loss her six-year-old son from brain cancer in 2010. She was grieving and on medical leave from work, her family said. The call was made by the boyfriend because the mother was breaking down... she had a knife.

Police forces nowadays need to be better trained and ready to respond to the increasing mental health challenges they face on a daily basis. Incorporating mental health workers (MHW) to ride with officers will have the sought impact if the relationship between the officer and the mental health worker is collaborative and wanted. MHWs need to take the lead and officers need to back them up. Compliance-based strategies need to take a step back to Trauma-informed and centered approaches (Trauma-Informed Crisis Intervention) These calls will take longer and test both responders on their self-control . You have to take your time and listen empathically! Sadly, the issues that we need to address are not related to the civilians in full blown crisis but rather the officers tasked with protecting them from themselves.


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