Friday, January 31, 2014

Local News


Mounties often called upon to assess and detain people under the Mental Health Act

Staff/Voice photos


A man with mental health issues struggles with police as he is taken to into CGH Friday.


olice were called out to a home near Vedder Rd. and Keith Wilson at around 8:30 a.m. Friday, after a woman called to report her husband was threatening to harm himself.


It was established that the man, who was known to police, was under mental duress, and after some precautions he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act (MHA) and taken to Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH).

The man did not appear to be injured. Officers were cautious in handling the man who had no shoes or shirt and clad only in pajamas because he was still shouting about his displeasure with them upon arrival at the hospital.

In 2012, a doctor at CGH told the Voice that officers have basic training in dealing with people who have mental health issues.


In Chilliwack, police are often called upon to deal with people and make arrests under the MHA. In most cases they're taken to the hospital. Last year, we heard police tell a packed City Council chamber that people with mental health issues have no place in their cells.

Although the Mounties always do the best job they can in handling MHA people, they have to call the shots in circumstances like this because there is no one else to do it.


It appears more could be done in the community in terms of providing specialized people who can be dispatched when a situation crops up. The Voice has brought up the issue in the past about Chilliwack having a unit similar to the Strathcona Mental Health Team consisting of a doctor and two attendants who assess the person on the spot in their home or wherever they may be.


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