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British Columbia

Port Moody, B.C., police get digital crisis tool for mental health, addiction calls

PORT MOODY, B.C. — Police in Port Moody, British Columbia, are about to start using a digital public safety system that aims to improve emergency responses in mental health and addiction crisis situations.

Mike Farnworth, public safety minister and solicitor general, says the digital risk screening tool called HealthIM can assist officers de-escalate and better navigate mental health emergencies by providing information to help understand the individual’s crisis behaviour.

Farnworth’s ministry says officers can use the HealthIM tool to get communication advice from health officials and determine the best way to help a person in crisis.

The ministry says HealthIM is already in use by the Delta Police Department and the RCMP in Surrey and Prince George.

The ministry says the tool is also being used by police in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Ministry data say the HealthIM system has contributed to a decrease in apprehensions by 46 per cent, hospital wait times by 39 per cent, and an increase in hospital admission rates of 37 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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