Dispatching Car 867: Yukon pilot project pairs mental health nurse with RCMP for some emergency calls


The Yukon Government and the Whitehorse RCMP have teamed as much as assist help people experiencing mental health emergencies.

The partnership comes within the type of a brand new cellular disaster response crew referred to as Car 867.

The crew has two members: an RCMP officer and a skilled mental health nurse.

“Programs much like this have been in place for 10, 15 years or extra in varied communities throughout Canada,” stated Cpl. Brent Edwards, the crew lead on behalf of the Whitehorse RCMP.

“Car 867 is the primary cellular disaster response crew north of 60.”

The three-year pilot project’s goal is to supply trauma-informed, client-centred responses to mental health emergencies that the RCMP get referred to as to, and to offer early intervention that would probably divert folks away from the legal justice and hospital programs. 

Edwards stated officers are skilled to deal with mental health emergencies, however that is no substitute for having a skilled mental health skilled accessible.

“It bridges that rift,” Edwards stated.

It additionally helps with group outreach, he famous — the crew may probably provide group helps, and the mental health nurse may give on-site assessments to assist inform the police officer’s personal evaluation of an individual.

“Then, if want be for a fear, [that] could be offered to a physician by a skilled mental health skilled,” he defined.

Mental health emergency calls are dealt with by 9-1-1 operators. Once referred to as, dispatch will decide if Car 867 is suitable to reply.

When responding to a name, Car 867 will arrive on location to offer on-scene help, offering the unit is on the market and the decision pertains to a mental health situation or suicide threat. 

Edwards stated the unit has been adequately skilled and outfitted to deal with all varieties of conditions. 

“The nurse is offered with delicate physique armour,” Edwards stated. “They’re recognized with a patch on it that claims ‘nurse’ to tell apart from the police officer.”

“They are going to get publicity to our coaching and our ‘use of power’ matrix — nevertheless there is no expectation, and it is not of their description of their position to deal with something bodily in that manner.”

Edwards stated it is commonplace apply in different jurisdictions as nicely.

The new unit has solely been on the street for just a few days, however Edwards stated Car 867 has been dispatched to a number of calls every day. 

He added there are plans so as to add a second unit, as soon as just a few issues are ironed out.

“We’re doing some warmth mapping in that regard to find out peak intervals of operation,” Edwards stated. “So we are able to make that into an element of figuring out the ultimate schedule as soon as we get two automobiles up and operating.”

Successful in different jurisdictions

Andrea Abrahamson is appearing supervisor of health providers with the Yukon Government.

She stated she hopes this program is as profitable as packages provided in different areas have been, pointing to Hamilton and Guelph — each in Ontario — as examples.

“Hamilton … they’ve lowered their apprehension throughout mental health calls by as much as 70 per cent,” Abrahamson stated. “Guelph has an analogous crew as nicely, and diverted roughly 75 per cent of mental health calls from the hospital.

She added that police typically reply to mental health calls and find yourself spending lengthy intervals of time in emergency departments.

“It’s tying up police sources and hospital sources and it is nonetheless not essentially the service the person wants,” she stated. 

“Hopefully that is helpful to the police, the hospital and the person.”


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