After seeing a large increase in recent years for calls for services related to mental health, Cranbrook RCMP has created a Mental Health Liaison position.
Constable Erin Stevenson will start her new role in early October 2016, and will focus on helping to divert mental health clients to appropriate services, as well as supporting and training her co-workers, and building more community partnerships.
The issue of how to appropriately deal with mental health illnesses has really come to the forefront not just for police but for our community overall, says Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Hector LEE.
The RCMP recognizes that society in general has struggled to meet the needs of those with a mental illness, and the criminal justice system is not always the best route to take. We think having an officer dedicated to and proactive on this issue will reduce the number of calls for service relating to mental health issues. That means our other officers can better focus on protecting Cranbrook and surrounding areas.
He notes city officials have been consulted, and have been very supportive in developing this initiative.
The RCMP Mental Health Liaison Officer will work in partnership with community agencies such as East Kootenay Regional Hospital, Interior Health Authority, BC Corrections, East Kootenay Addiction Services Society, MCFD and other community resources to help deliver appropriate and timely services to clients.