BURNABY – New Democrat MLAs 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 Burnaby.
“When someone is at their most vulnerable, they should be met with professional care and compassion,” said Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “This new team will help make sure that people experiencing a crisis receive the support they need while freeing police resources to focus on crime.”
MICR Teams, formerly known as Car programs, pair a police officer with a health-care 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.
“By sending a trained mental health professional, as well as a police officer, to respond to someone in crisis, we can help de-escalate the situation and reduce the person’s fear of reaching out for help,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “This will also help prevent the criminalization of our community’s most vulnerable people, who may be better served by mental health services.”
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.
Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake:
“Mental health is an issue that touches the lives of many in our community. MICR Teams will work to resolve mental health crisis situations collaboratively while ensuring everyone is kept safe. People in Burnaby will be better served thanks to this new approach.”
Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds:
“Many people in Burnaby and across B.C. have been advocating for a service like the MICR Team,” said Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds. “I’m glad that this new partnership will help more people to get the support they need during a crisis.”
Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/29212