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Manitoba Police Agencies Utilizing New Tool for Mental Health Calls

October 1, 2018 4:09 PM | News


HealthIM is a software-based tool nine Manitoba police agencies will soon use in responding to calls where a person may be experiencing a mental health crisis. (HEALTHIM.COM)

WINNIPEG — A new tool will soon be utilized by officers across nine Manitoba police agencies to better respond to calls involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

HealthIM is being put into place through a $310,000 investment by the province through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund. It will work to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations and help officers best determine their next course of action.

“In some cases, this might mean ensuring someone who is going through a mental health crisis is connected with a community service agency instead of taking them into custody or an emergency room,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen.

“In other situations, the assessment will help officers recognize when someone is a risk to themselves or others so a more immediate intervention can be made.”

The risk-assessment tool will be put into patrol cars and on other mobile devices. HealthIM receivers will also be installed in local emergency rooms, nursing stations and community mental health agencies to support secure information sharing.

The Winnipeg Police Service, Brandon Police Service, Manitoba First Nations Police Service, Ste. Anne Police Department, Winkler Police Service, Altona Police Service, Morden Police Service, Rivers Police Department and RCMP detachments in Steinbach, Thompson and Portage la Prairie will all receive access to HealthIM.

The province expects full deployment by the end of the year.