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Winnipeg Police is trying to extend the hours of activity of the program intended for people in crisis situations.
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Winnipeg police shot dead a man exhibiting “erratic behavior” last weekend during a police intervention. Indeed, the 19-year-old had mental health issues, according to his family.
This incident occurred in the absence of the special unit for people in crisis, called
Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC).
This program pairs health professionals with police officers , to support people in crisis.
The objective being to defuse situations and avoid life-threatening confrontations with police.
However, a shortage of mental health clinicians has delayed plans to increase the program's opening hours to include weekends.
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Currently, the program only works between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday to Friday.
According to the Executive Director of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, Chris Summerville is a more sensitive and humane way of responding to people who are thought to be going through or going through a mental health crisis.
However, police say that the increased opening hours of this crisis unit may not have allowed for # x27;avoid the deadly shooting, which took place on New Year's Eve.
Launched in 2021, the Manitoba government decided last June to inject an amount of $400,000 to expand the Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC) program from 5 to 7 days of intervention per week.< /p>
Last September, Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth said police were having trouble finding enough of clinicians to cover overtime.
In October, the ARCC program hired two additional employees to provide coverage seven days a week.
At the Dec. 8 Winnipeg Police Board meeting, Smyth said the program will soon expand its coverage.
I am aware that another group of employees have been recruited by Shared Health, and I expect that they will begin to move on. integrate with us as they progress through their process, so that we have seven days of coverage, says Danny Smyth.
The executive director of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada Chris Summerville believes the service should be available whenever people are in crisis.
It is not possible to& #x27;establish schedules based on times when people are experiencing mental illness.
A quote from Chris Summerville, Executive Director of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada
According to a Shared Health spokesperson, the unit only responds to non-crisis situations criminal and non-emergency.
This unit is deployed once the police confirm such a situation, according to the word from Winnipeg police, Dani McKinnon.
Consequently, according to her, the situation that occurred on Sunday afternoon would not have met the ARCC deployment criteria.
Five agents are currently assigned to this unit.