Released on November 15, 2018
A new Police and Crisis Team (PACT) in Moose Jaw will improve how front-line policing services respond to people in mental health crisis situations. Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell joined representatives of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Moose Jaw Police Service, and the community for a launch event today.
“The PACT program helps us respond to people with complex mental health challenges within our communities,” Tell said. “It is a unique way of handling police calls for mental health crisis situations and directing clients to the right services.”
PACTs are a collaborative effort between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and local police services. Members of the Moose Jaw Police Service are paired with a mental health professional to respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The goal is to provide the right kind of care to people who are better-served within the community, thereby avoiding emergency department visits and entry into the criminal justice system.
“Police and Crisis Teams change the way mental health crisis situations are handled,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “The new Police and Crisis Team in Moose Jaw reflects our government’s commitment to improving mental health services for people across Saskatchewan.”
PACTs are already making a difference in Saskatoon and Regina, and another was recently launched in Prince Albert. Additional units will be launched in North Battleford and Yorkton in the coming months.
Between April 2017 and June 2018:
“The launch of the Police and Crisis Team is an important step in providing additional supports for some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” Integrated Community Health Programs – Community Health Services Transition Lead Mary Lee Booth said. “They will assist vulnerable people with crisis support, stabilization and crisis de-escalation. They will also connect these people to the appropriate services.”
- Saskatoon PACTs provided 922 interventions and diverted 234 patients from the emergency department.
- Regina provided 658 interventions and diverted 192 patients from the emergency department.
“The Police and Crisis Team is a significant addition to community safety and wellbeing,” Moose Jaw Police Chief Rick Bourassa said. “We welcome this collaborative partnership, which gives us the ability to provide more effective and efficient services to those who are most in need.”
The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $980,000 in 2018-19 for new PACT programs. The Ministry of Health funding for this expansion comes from the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Funding Agreement. Announced in January 2017, the federal government is providing Saskatchewan with close to $350 million over 10 years for targeted incremental investments in home and community care and mental health and addiction services.
For more information, contact:
Corrections and Policing
Saskatchewan Health Authority
Sgt. Kevin Pilsworth
Moose Jaw Police Service