Connecting people in crisis to help and hope
Due to laws and gaps within our mental health care system, police are the default frontline responders to crisis events in BC.
We’re working with communities to change this by introducing an approach that integrates teams of trained mental health workers into emergency response: Peer Assisted Care Teams (PACT). For crisis events with low risk of harm or violence, these teams can respond alongside or instead of police to help de-escalate the situation and connect people to ongoing community services and supports.
This type of approach has been shown to have many benefits:
- Saves money
- Frees up police and hospital resources
- Reduces stigma of mental illness and substance use
- Avoids unnecessary criminal records
- Builds connections to community services and supports
For example, the CAHOOTS program in Eugene, Oregon saves the city around $8.5 million annually and answers 17% of police calls.
PACT available to help on the North Shore
CMHA is excited to launch the first PACT program in BC. The program pairs a mental health professional with a trained peer crisis responder to provide trauma-informed, culturally safe support to North Shore residents.
Support the growth of PACT in BC
CMHA is committed to help bring PACT to more communities in BC. A successful PACT requires collaboration and support from the entire community. With your donation, we can strengthen and improve crisis care and help people access the services they need.
The Community Planning Process
Convene a Community Planning Table that includes local organizations, city councillors, police agencies, health services and people with lived/living experience and their families.
Engage key stakeholders to understand community needs and corresponding operational requirements.
Operate a model based on the input from the Community Planning Table and findings from stakeholder engagement.
Evaluate the impact on community health and social outcomes – for example, changes in the number of police interactions, involuntary hospital admissions, and community connections.
DID YOU KNOW?
In BC, 1 in 5 interactions with the police involve someone with a mental health or substance use disorder.
25% of people with mental illness have histories of police arrest.
10% of people have police involved in their pathway to mental health care