Mental health issues
The Police recognize that all mental health
crises cannot be averted. The earlier the intervention, the less intrusive
it is for the individual in crisis.
- Remain calm
- Listen to the person in crisis - What they say may hold the information
you need to resolve the crisis
- Listening assures the person that you are trying to help them
- Remember your safety - If you are the focus of the person's anxiety,
let someone else take the lead
- Reduce distractions - Give the person space, turn off the TV or radio
and limit the number of people assisting
The Mental Health Act
It is always better to get cooperation from the person who needs help. Unfortunately,
this is not always possible.
If the person:
- Has threatened or is attempting to cause bodily harm to him/herself
- Has behaved or is behaving violently towards others or is causing others
to fear bodily harm from him/her
- Has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for him/herself
There are several options:
Have a doctor who has seen the person in crisis within the last
7 days issue a Form 1 - This form requires the person to be assessed at a psychiatric
Have a doctor see the person in crisis either at the doctor's office or in
the community and have the doctor issue a "Form 1"
The justice of the peace
See a JP and describe what behaviours the person is demonstrating
that make you think they are at risk and in need of assessment - The JP may
issue a Form2 which requires the person to go to a hospital for examination
If the person is currently acting out in a violent or threatening
way - CALL 911 - If the Police can actually observe this behaviour, the person
can be apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to the nearest hospital
Both the Form1 and Form2 are valid for 7 days. Both forms are orders for the
person to be examined or assessed but may not result in hospitalization.
For referral phone numbers and Mental Health Services please contact the Community Relations Officer
at your local Police Division.