Tag: dire

City of Penticton in dire need of more mental health help – Okanagan

City council in Penticton, B.C., is sending an urgent letter to Interior Health calling for mental health help in town.

The fight for the Car 40 program, which pairs an officer with a mental health expert on mental health calls, has been ongoing for more than a year.

“It was just to enforce the commitment this council has to that program, to show Interior Health that yes, it’s a new council, but there’s an equal commitment to getting a Car 40 program here,” said the Penticton mayor Julius Bloomfield.

“We can’t expect RCMP officers to be mental health workers, they’re not trained for that. They have great skills but that takes a certain level of training.”

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A recent Community Safety Review showed that RCMP are in dire need of more mental health resources.

The review stated that more than 50 per cent of calls to Penticton RCMP have a mental health component.

“The main thing that the report did was it justified the perceptions of the people,” said Bloomfield.

“Perceptions and realities don’t always align, but in this case with the crime situation here, with the homeless situation, with the mental health situation, the addiction situation, the reality backs up the perception by the public and by the politicians as to the situation in Penticton.”

Click to play video: 'Penticton Community Safety Review complete'

Penticton Community Safety Review complete

Back in December, Interior Health announced the expansion of Car 40, now referred to as the Integrated Crisis Response Teams, in Kamloops and Kelowna but Penticton was left out.

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