The Regina Police Service (RPS) and Regina Mobile Crisis Services (MCS) have launched a new call-transfer protocol that will help connect Regina residents experiencing a mental health crisis or suicide ideation with resources designed for their care and assistance. The protocol works by identifying specific calls to 9-1-1 or (306) 777-6500 as suitable for transfer to a crisis worker with Mobile Crisis Services. This program became operational December 1, 2022.
It is important to note that not every call will be suitable for transfer to Mobile Crisis. This protocol is not meant to replace existing Police, EMS or Fire Services response; instead, it is meant to add a layer of intervention, where appropriate. An example would be: a person who is having thoughts of suicide, but has not yet caused self-harm, and is asking for help.
The Regina Police Service, in consultation with Mobile Crisis Services, has developed training for Communications Centre call-takers, and criteria to ensure each caller gets the appropriate response. In order to enact this protocol, the call taker at the Regina Police Service Communications Centre must establish that the caller is the actual person in crisis, and the caller agrees to speak with a crisis worker rather than have police and/or paramedics attend. The call taker must also confirm other circumstances, examples of which include: that there are no weapons; there is no need for medical attention; and the situation does not indicate a domestic dispute. If the call-taker determines that the appropriate response is Police, EMS or Fire, the call will not be transferred to Mobile Crisis Services. If the call fits the criteria to be handled by Mobile Crisis Services, then the call transfer occurs, with safeguards to ensure the caller gets assistance, without having to call back.
Once in touch with the MCS on duty staff, the crisis worker will appropriately engage the individual to support them in the crisis the person is experiencing, which may include: marital/family, loss or bereavement, sexual concerns, relationships, job loss/employment, anxiety and depression, coping, anger, or thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Proper support, understanding and referral to longer term resources is at the core of the interaction with potential for sharing of additional information and further referrals.
The Regina Police Service with Mobile Crisis Services, and other partners in community safety and wellness, take seriously the commitment to consult with, and listen to, the community we serve. This call transfer option for mental health or suicide prevention is one more step in the journey of providing Regina residents with quality service that meets their needs.