Williams Lake is a part of the addition of new community-based supports from Interior Health.
The supports are for RCMP to improve the response for people experiencing mental health and substance use-related crises from newly hires outreach liaison clinicians.
Director for Mental Health and Substance Use, Carla Mantie says clinicians will receive referrals where they would attend as secondary responders once the scene is safe and secure.
“The clinician also might be supporting people and their family in navigating services that are available or needed in the community, and or at IH.” says Mantie.
“This would also include mental health and substance-use related services like housing, income support, family support, etcetera.”
Mantie added they will be a presence in the community to help reduce stigma, and be more proactive and take a healthier focus rather than a criminal focus.
She notes that a variation of this support has been done in the past for Williams Lake and says was very successful.
Three other communities will also be getting the supports, which include Cranbrook, Nelson and Trail, and will all be running eight hours a day for five days a week.
Mantie says staff are already in place for the permanent service, and are going through orientation.
The teams in the four communities will be working together on training, reporting and program evaluation for consistency across the region.
More information on the enhanced community crisis response support can be found on Interior Health’s website here.