Winnipeg police, Shared Health looking to extend crisis help program

A pilot program, which sees a health clinician and a Winnipeg police officer respond to mental health calls, could be extended.

A report to the Mayor’s Executive Policy Committee says the police service and Shared Health would like to continue the Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis initiative, known as ARCC.

A trial began in December 2021 and the current agreement expires in March.

The new deal would be over two years.

The ARCC teams are made up of a plainclothes officer and a clinician who attend 911 mental health and addictions calls.

The goal is to reduce calls to 911 from people in crisis and keep them out of the emergency rooms or jail by offering supports sooner, at home.

“Through ARCC, crisis intervention services offered will ensure appropriate care needs are identified and a plan of care is established on scene,” the report reads.

The report to EPC has statistics for the first three quarters of 2022.

It shows in the first six months, 45 people were assisted, with 87 per cent remaining in the community.

From July to September, 23 people were helped, with 92 per cent of them staying in the community.

The program runs Monday to Friday.

EPC is set to vote on the extension next week.

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