Of 72 calls for police service in Oak Bay last week, 10 were related to emergency mental health incidents.
That’s on par for the department over a week, according to Chief Mark Fisher of the Oak Bay Police Department.
Call volume in general can vary widely. The week before, OBPD reported 38 calls for service – though that’s unusually low for the municipal department. Statistics show Oak Bay’s population in 2021 was 17,990 with 8,168 private dwellings.
The age ranges of those helped vary across the spectrum as do the health concerns, Fisher said. In some cases an individual will go to the hospital voluntarily, while in others, if an officer has reason to believe that the person is a danger to themselves or others – they are detained under the Mental Health Act. In that case, an officer stays with the person at the hospital until they are seen by a doctor.
“We do not offer a lot of details on these types of calls given the sensitivities associated to illnesses these people are dealing with and some of the behaviours they exhibit that lead to us being called to assist,” Fisher said.
“Our primary goal when attending these incidents is to de-escalate the situation and then ensure that the individuals receive appropriate medical attention if needed.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, call the provincial suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-suicide (1-800-784-2433), or visit crisislines.bc.ca to find local mental health and crisis resources.
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