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Home New Release Surrey RCMP have responded to more than 3,000 mental health calls this...

Surrey RCMP have responded to more than 3,000 mental health calls this year

Surrey RCMP say they have attended more than 3,000 mental health calls during the first six months of 2021.

Officers attended 3,064 calls related to the Mental Health Act, including 862 calls to assist in cases of suicide, from January to June, Mounties said Wednesday.

Read more:
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RCMP say officers are trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques, and calls can sometimes takes hours of delicate negotiations.

As an example. RCMP said back in May officers responded to a man outside a Whalley business holding a knife to his own throat.

“It could be a mater of minutes and it could be a matter of hours when these negotiations take place between the person who is under mental stress,” RCMP Const. Sarbjit Sangha said.

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“Their main priority is to get the medical help this person is required.”

The Surrey RCMP said Car 67 — a specialized unit that pairs an officer with a psychiatric nurse — was used in about 10 per cent of the calls.

Read more:
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“(The nurse is) able to talk to the person and assess what is needed for that person, whether they need to be apprehended under the Mental Health Act, and what information is required for them to complete the referral to take them to the hospital.”

Compared to the first half of 2020, Sangha said the number of overall mental health calls have gone down, but calls to help people contemplating suicide have increased.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, you can call these hotlines for help:

Interior Crisis Line: 1-888-353-2273

BC Crisis Line: (no area code needed) 310-6789

Interior Crisis Chat: http://www.interiorcrisisline.com/crisischat

Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-784-2433

Canadian Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-2566

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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