PRINCE RUPERT – New Democrat MLA Jennifer Rice says 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 Prince Rupert.
“When someone is in a mental health crisis, they should feel safe with those there to help them, be met with warmth, and compassion,” says Jennifer Rice, MLA for the North Coast and B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health. “Programs like this recognize that in these situations, mental health professionals should be the people taking the lead, which allows the RCMP to focus on law enforcement. We’ve seen how successful these programs are in other communities throughout the Province and I believe it will better serve our vulnerable people as well as make Prince Rupert a safer place.”
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.
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.
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.
Herb Pond, Mayor of Prince Rupert –
“I think the MICR program is terrific and will be extremely valuable to our residents and local RCMP detachment in Prince Rupert. I am grateful the Province recognizes our needs and is putting in the resources to facilitate these types of collaborative partnerships to better serve our community.”
Julia Pemberton, Health Services Administer for Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, Northern Health –
“These are important partnerships to support people in mental health crisises and connect them with the supports they need. We’re happy to see this program expanding to Prince Rupert and look forward to working with local RCMP on this initiative.”
Sergeant Gerald Walker, Prince Rupert RCMP-GRC, Detachment Commander –
“The Mobile Integrated Crisis Response Team funding announced today is great news and will provide valuable and needed assistance to first response in Prince Rupert. The Prince Rupert RCMP looks forward to working with Northern Health to establish a service delivery model that provides safety and specialized services to those in crisis. These programs have been very successful in other parts of the Province, and we look to draw on their experiences as we start planning.”
Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/29212