Mobile mental-health crisis teams will include police officers

Health PEI is set to launch its first mobile mental-health crisis teams. 

No date yet on when teams will be operating

Green Party health critic Trish Altass questions why there is a need for a police officer as a core component of P.E.I.'s new mobile mental-health crisis teams. (CBC)

Health PEI is set to launch its first mobile mental-health crisis teams. 

The three teams will consist of one health professional and one plainclothes police officer. 

Some of the crisis situations will be handled over the phone, but a police officer will be present for every in-person response — and that has some concerned. 

The plan was put forward to the province's standing committee on health and social development Wednesday afternoon. 

Trish Altass, MLA for Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke and the Official Opposition critic for health and wellness, said across the country, there has been a shift away from using police as a core component of that team.

"So my question and concern around are we, you know, newly implementing this program, using what seems to be an outdated model."

Representatives from Health PEI said safety was a factor in choosing the model, and that including a police officer on the team has had positive outcomes in other provinces. 

The new emergency response line is supposed to be operating 24-7 by the end of March. 

There is no date yet on when the mobile teams will be operating.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Kerry Campbell


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