The cart is empty

News

Province Expands Police and Crisis Team in Regina and Saskatoon

Province Expands Police and Crisis Team in Regina and Saskatoon

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing $468,800 in the 2023-24 Budget to the Saskatoon Police Service and Regina Police Service to expand the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) program in the communities. 

"Our province continues to look for innovative ways to better support individuals experiencing a mental health crisis," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. "The PACT program expansion will ensure that more clients are connected to the community supports they need, creating better outcomes for them and reducing emergency health care and police service requests."

PACT is a collaborative effort between government, police and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to change the way mental health emergencies are handled in the community. PACT pairs a mental health professional with a police officer, creating a team that is mobile and can help stabilize people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The funding will provide for an additional police position in Regina and Saskatoon at a cost of $114,400 each, and $240,000 in total to fund the accompanying mental health positions. 

"Police and Crisis Teams continue to change the way mental health situations are handled by successfully connecting patients to enhanced community services," Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley said. "The addition of members to the Regina and Saskatoon teams reflects our government's commitment to improving access to mental health services for Saskatchewan residents." 

The goal of PACT is to provide appropriate care for individuals who would be better served in the community, reducing emergency room visits and helping to keep clients who are facing a mental health crisis out of the criminal justice system.

"PACT teams enhance our immediate response to persons experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis," Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper said. "By sharing experience and information with our crisis partners, we reduce the potential for an arrest and decrease the use of emergency rooms. Our teams saw a 38 per cent increase in dispatched calls last year, and this funding will provide for a new team and expanded coverage. We are grateful for this support."

In the 2023-24 Budget, the province is investing a total of $2.833 million in the PACT initiative. Corrections, Policing and Public Safety is providing $1.373 million to fund 12 police positions: Saskatoon (3), Regina (3), Moose Jaw (2), Prince Albert (1), Estevan (1), Yorkton (1) and North Battleford (1). This includes one new police position in Regina and Saskatoon, plus an additional $400,000 for four PACT mental health and social workers. In addition, the Ministry of Health will provide the SHA with $1.06 million toward the PACT mental health professional component. 

In 2021-22, PACT teams were involved in 4,676 police calls for service, performed over 5,000 PACT assessments, and diverted more than 1,300 clients from emergency departments across the province.

Search