Expand the Car 40 Program to Attend Mental Health Emergencies

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Three years ago I lost my friend of twenty years, who was the father of my children and husband to suicide. I did not understand the severity of the situation in my hands and although I had contacted the police and attempted to do what steps I thought I needed to do to save his life, I was not successful. I was not successful because myself  along with the police did not have adequate training to attend mental health related emergency calls, this requires a mental health professional. I have spent the last three years educating myself and working to prevent this from happening to another family. 

There is a program called Car 40, which allows for a mental health nurse and in some cities a social worker to attend urgent mental health related emergency calls; however, the program runs business hours only in some cities like ours, Kamloops. I am calling on Interior Health, the province of British Columbia and Federal Government of Canada to extend funding to further these programs in all areas and to treat all mental health related calls with the urgency that is needed to save lives. In Canada 4,000 die by suicide each year and with adequate training and funding this number could be lowered. 

Mental health is simply not treated with the same compassion other health systems are and part of ending the stigma behind asking for help is providing adequate care for the citizens of our cities and country during the times of crisis. Only a mental health professional is trained to attend these emergencies with law enforcement. Programs like Car 40 could be the policy for our cities, towns and rural areas that are all affected by suicide and mental health, with your help. 

Please join me today and sign this petition to show our health authorities and government mental health affects us all and we deserve adequate care for all citizens. Thank you.