#GetLoud for Dignity Always
Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis have been harmed or killed during encounters with police. Others who have been transported to a hospital during a crisis have been detained and subject to coercive care that denied them their rights.
Racism, systemic injustice, the ongoing effects of colonization, and inequitable access to health resources are all profound risk factors for severe and complex mental health and substance use conditions that can escalate to a crisis and lead to such tragic outcomes.
Decades of systemic under-funding for mental health and substance use care have created the conditions for this to happen. Police are first responders. The Mental Health Act is used too often as the only pathway to care. We need progressive change to protect and promote the lives and rights of people who experience crisis.
CMHA BC is calling for these commitments:
- Initiate a full and independent review of the Mental Health Act to guarantee that BC’s laws and policies protect the human rights of people who are involuntarily detained.
- Provide support to municipalities to pilot civilian-led mental health crisis teams made up of clinicians and peers as an alternative to police-led interventions
- Direct health authorities to collect race-based, Indigenous and other disaggregated demographic data on mental health crises and overdose events to reveal and address systemic discrimination in health care