Mental health crises are on the rise as Vernon police responded to more than 287 calls in five months and now during Mental Health Week (May 3-9), the RCMP are encouraging everyone to prioritize mental health and well being.
Officers responded as first responders to aid those 287 individuals experiencing crisis between Jan. 1 and May 1.
The goal of each intervention is for safe resolution through compassion, understanding and empathy.
But police and all first responders are human, too, and not immune to the compounding emotional and psychological and emotional effects of involvement.
“All employees are encouraged to have regular check-ins with a mental health professional,” said Vernon North Okanagan RCMP officer in charge Supt. Shawna Baher.
“We want them to have someone in place, someone familiar, someone they can trust, should the need arise,” she said. “All new members to the detachment are assigned a peer-to-peer mentor to ensure they are receiving any support they need and to help them establish good habits early on as they transition into their new career.”
The RCMP are reminding the public that “you are not alone.”