Four Mobile Integrated Crisis Response Teams hit the streets in local Lower Mainland Communities

Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam

2023-11-14 15:20 PST

As part of British Columbia’s Safer Communities Action Plan, the RCMP Lower Mainland District in partnership with Abbotsford Police Department and Fraser Health under the Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) program, supported by the BC Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and the BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, have begun providing Mobile Integrated Crisis Response (MICR) services in five new communities.

On November 6, 2023 the Mobile Integrated Crisis Response teams (MICR – formerly known as Car teams) began taking calls for service in the cities of Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam inclusive of their various Indigenous communities. Services also recently launched in Abbotsford on October 16, 2023.

Picture of MICR teams comprised of a police officer and mental-health professional.

A MICR Team is a specialized mobile crisis response unit that partners a police officer with a mental-health professional to respond to mental-health police calls where an individual is in need of mental health or substance use crisis intervention or assistance. These teams are an expansion to other already successful Car-type programs and outreach programs in various communities across the province, now just under a new name.

The MICR Teams will provide an enhanced and collaborative police and mental-health care taker response intended to bring mental-health expertise, training and input to improving public safety.

By amalgamating police response with specialized mental health crisis workers concentrating on mental health and addiction, MICR Teams will serve the community by providing more outreach coverage throughout each city and more subject matter expertise to crisis response and intervention to those in need while reducing the need for frontline police response, says Assistant Commissioner Maureen Levy, BC RCMP Lower Mainland District Commander.

It’s important that people in crisis due to mental-health challenges are met with compassion and appropriate care, said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. The new Mobile Integrated Crisis Response Teams in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, and Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam, take a holistic, health-care approach to caring for people in their most vulnerable time and connect people to the emergency and long-term supports they need to find a pathway to wellbeing.

When police officers work alongside mental-health experts, it best serves those who are in a moment of crisis or distress, said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. By combining front-line worker’s expertise, MICR teams are strengthening the ability to respond to public safety challenges, better protecting communities, while connecting people in crisis to the appropriate services they need, when they need them. This initiative is a crucial component of our ongoing efforts to create a safer, more inclusive province.

When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis, they need timely, supportive and compassionate care, said Natalie McCarthy, Vice President, Regional Care Integration, Fraser Health. With the launch of our new Mobile Integrated Crisis Response teams, specialized psychiatric nurses will work with law enforcement in a critical partnership to ensure people who need support during a mental health crisis get the help they need sooner and get connected to ongoing care that will place them on a path toward wellness.

The MICR Team will be dispatched as a secondary responder to 911 calls where a person is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis and could benefit from outreach from a skilled mental health care provider. Each team is staffed and have completed various training as part of the quick response to the implementation plan to address mental health needs in these communities.

The overarching responsibility of this team and partner agencies is to develop integrated strategies to address mental health related calls and personal crisis in an inclusive manner. This is achieved through a combination of community engagement, building strong relationships with mental health clients and partners, and collaborative problem solving that is sustainable and effective for the greater common goal of public safety by all partners involved.

Released by:
BC RCMP Communications

In partnership with:

Fraser Health Public Affairs
604-613-0794 or

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Abbotsford Police Department

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