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Police responding to more mental health calls

Lots of people having tough time coping: detachment commander

DIDSBURY – Didsbury RCMP officers have been responding to an increase in mental health-related calls during the COIVD-19 pandemic, says Staff Sgt. Chad Fournier.

The commander of the Didsbury RCMP detachment, Fournier appeared as a delegation before town council on May 12.

“There has been a big spike in mental health calls, specifically in the last couple weeks of March and for April,” said Fournier. “A lot of that has to do with the COVID-19. There are a lot of people who are having a tough time coping with the isolation and a lot of people simply don’t have the coping skills to manage the situation.

“We are trying to get these people the help they need, either by taking them to speak to a doctor or getting them in touch with mental health professionals.”

In the first four months of 2020, the detachment received 35 federal Mental Health Act-related calls, he said. That compares with 14 in the same period in 2019.

Fournier encouraged anyone having mental health concerns to seek help.

“I would encourage anyone if they are feeling down or they are not sure how to cope, there are lots of mental health workers out there and lots of agencies that can help them out,” he said. “Please reach out and get the services that you need.”

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