Kelowna RCMP and Interior Health are assuring the community that they are working together to address the needs of vulnerable people.
The Police and Crisis Team (PACT) provides access to healthcare professionals and services for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Two specially-trained officers work rotating shifts with a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Kelowna.
“When we are working with a client who is experiencing a mental health crisis, I’m able to focus on listening to the client, observing their behaviour, and conducting an assessment,” said Kristina a nurse in Kelowna. “The officers I work with ensure the environment around us is safe so we can focus on the task at hand and determine what the next steps should be.”
Police responding to PACT calls do not wear a uniform and the team drives an unmarked police vehicle.
Cst. Dopson, a member of PACT explained, the team works in many ways from finding social services or a bed at a shelter for someone, which becomes a daily routine.
“Many of our regular clients have complex needs, and although it’s not a solution, ensuring they have access to support and somewhere warm to sleep can make a difference in their day,” said Cst. Dopson.
The multidisciplinary team provides access to immediate crisis support on an emergency basis, helping people suffering from thoughts of suicide, anxiety, and psychotic episodes.
To be connected to the Mental Health and Substance Use Centre call 310-MHSU.
The Interior Health Crisis Line is 1-888-353-2273 for immediate assistance. Trained responders provide emotional support, crisis de-escalation and intervention 24/7 through phone, chat and text. The crisis line is for individuals who require mental health support when there is no risk of immediate harm or danger.
The Kelowna RCMP encourages individuals to use the Interior Health Crisis Line when applicable and to reserve 911 for police, fire and medical emergencies when immediate action is required.
Other helpful links and phone lines include:
•Mental Health & Substance Use Centre: 310-MHSU (6478)
•Interior Crisis Line: 1-888-353-2273
•KUU-US (Indigenous) Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
•Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
•Interior Health Community Response Team: 250-212-8533
•Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
•Indigenous Help: 1-855-554-4325
•Black Youth Helpline: 833-294-8650
•Hope for Wellness Line: 1-855-242-3310