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Mental Health Strategy Recommends More Training for Police

Canada’s new mental health strategy is putting emphasis on improved education and training for police and other frontline staff. CPKN offers effective training opportunities in recognizing and responding to individuals in crisis.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Changing Directions, Changing Lives report is putting the spotlight on enhanced training on mental health issues for police and other workers in the criminal justice system. Among the recommendations, the authors of the new mental health strategy urge decision makers to “provide police, court and corrections workers with knowledge about mental health problems and illnesses, training in how to respond, and information about services available in their area.”

CPKN offers training in both recognizing and responding to individuals with mental health problems and illnesses. Developed in collaboration with the University of Dalhousie’s Department of Psychiatry, Recognition of Emotionally Disturbed Persons reviews the broad categories of EDPs and provides recommended response strategies to deal with individuals in crisis. This 2 hour course is designed to build first responders' confidence when interacting with EDPs.

CPKN also hosts the Excited Delirium Syndrome course. Created by the Calgary Police Service, this 1 hour course is designed to increase officer awareness about signs and symptoms of ExDS and explores the factors and issues that must be considered when responding to, or managing, an ExDS incident.

Both of these courses provide foundation training on effectively managing encounters with people living with mental health issues. To learn more, visit these websites:

Recognition of Emotionally Disturbed Persons: www.cpkn.ca/course_redp

Excited Delirium Syndrome: www.cpkn.ca/course_excited_delirium