NDP MLA says new team will support people in mental health or substance use crisis in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam

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COQUITLAM – New Democrat MLA Selina Robinson, Fin Donnelly, and Mike Farnworth say that people in a mental health or substance use crisis will have the support of mental health experts as a new Mobile Integrated Crisis Response Team (MICR) launches in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

“Dealing with people in distress is never easy, and I am so grateful to the mental health professionals who are dedicated to serving and caring for this community,” says Selina Robinson, MLA for Coquitlam – Maillardville. “Not only do programs like MICR help remove barriers for those seeking help in a mental health crisis, but also makes sure that these community members are connected with services to help them in the long-term.”

MICR Teams, formerly known as Car programs, pair a police officer with a healthcare professional to respond to mental health calls made to the police. The teams provide on-site mental health assessments and crisis intervention and can refer individuals to appropriate services in the community.

“Mental health professionals bring unique and compassionate perspectives to mental health crises,” says Fin Donnelly, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. “Investing in programs like MIRC, helps build trauma-informed communities and allows police to focus on law enforcement, making our communities safer for everyone.”

Built on partnerships between municipal police departments or local RCMP detachments and the regional health authorities, these teams help free up police resources to focus on crime.

“Our government is taking action on the biggest challenges we face to keep people and communities healthy and thriving,” says Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam. “We have heard from many police departments and health authorities who currently run Mobile Integrated Crisis Response Teams that the programs are extremely helpful – and the demand is growing. Expanding the MICR program will help connect more people in crisis with the appropriate supports and services they need.”

The provincial government has committed $3 million to help fund the implementation of nine new teams across B.C. With communities now selected, health authorities and local police will begin planning together to recruit staff and put services in place as quickly as possible.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/29212