"We Have Issues": Furness talks to Corporal Scott Klein about Coquitlam RCMP Mental Health Unit.

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"We Have Issues": Furness talks to Corporal Scott Klein about Coquitlam RCMP Mental Health Unit.

In this episode of "We Have Issues", Tri-Cities Community TV reporter Nancy Furness talks with Corporal Scott Klein, an officer with Coquitlam RCMP’s Mental Health Unit (MHU) which comprises him and two other officers. The unit is charged with helping people who are in frequent contact with the police - with no criminality involved - but are obviously dealing with mental health problems.They are called in by constables in the field to help de-escalate any situation and to get the person directed to the help they need.

The MHU works with community mental health partners to provide services to clients, who may be of any age, says Corporal Klein. There is quite a range of community partners from Fraser Health Authority through to various organizations which play a role in helping people with mental heath issues.

The constables in MHU often do follow ups with these "clients" to see how they are doing. They take a soft approach. They even have a different uniform and drive un-marked cars to give their clients the idea that they dare there to help. They work to develop a rapport for clients who are often in contact with the police.

The MHU is not the first responder to calls for service for mental health issues, Corporal Scott explains, but they may accompany and support other officers or come to a scene when needed. He says that If a client finds himself in trouble, they are advised to call 911, not them.

Corporate Klein admits that their job was difficult during the shutdown.  They could not meet their community partners in person, nor could they knock on the door of one of the clients to find out how they are doing. Things are better now.

MHU officers receive the same training as other RCMP officers, he explained, although he and one of his partners also took a year-long course in mental heath, addictions, and the criminal justice system. They have regular contact with other units where they learn from each other and they support each other in their work.

Watch the interview to find out more.

 

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Video Upload Date: March 10, 2023

The Tri-Cities Community Television Society is a Not-For-Profit organization in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, BC, offering training in media production skills and provides an opportunity for community voices to be heard.

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