Policing and Mental Health

With approximately 20% of all Canadians experiencing a mental illness in their lifetime, a growing trend in Canada is the increased use of the emergency healthcare system to mitigate mental health-related symptoms for rapid triage, assessment, and treatment. In some of these instances, the police will be asked to assist with bringing persons to the appropriate facilities for medical evaluation. In other instances, persons with mental illness, substance use problems, or a combination of the two will be involved in non-criminal activity as well as criminal events. Understanding aggregate patterns of police calls-for-service is one of the primary areas of interest for the ICURS laboratory. Several projects are currently underway to better understand the impact of time and space on these patterns.

For inquiries about the current mental health and policing projects, please contact Adam Vaughan, Project Manager for ICURS Mental Health Research, at adamv@sfu.ca, or Martin Andresen, Director of ICURS, at andresen@sfu.ca

Please see our Fact Sheets page for results from some of our recent policing and mental health projects.