This is from the Globe and Mail. Not too long ago de-instutionalisation of mental patients was all the rage. The reformers sought to give most patients a much freer life outside the confining walls and rules of mental institutions. The idea was certainly not to save money because this reform would require considerable supports within the community to work. However, some politicians who climbed on board the reform bandwagon saw the reforms as a way to reduce expenditures by closing very expensive institutions. Now the results are in as shown by the reports from Vancouver police. The police were not meant to be the community support! The funds necessary for community support have not been forthcoming.
Third of police calls related to mental illness: report
February 3, 2008 at 8:39 PM EST
VANCOUVER — The mayor of Vancouver says he's not surprised a police research report shows almost a third of all police calls deal with the mentally ill.
But Sam Sullivan says he's still shocked by the actual number of such calls and the amount of resources Vancouver police have to devote to dealing with mentally ill people.
Mr. Sullivan says many of those the police encounter belong in institutions and not on the street.
He says new programs to build supportive housing will help those mentally ill who are relatively stable, but for others he advocates reopening the provincial psychiatric hospital at Riverview, which was downsized over the last two decades.
The police report also cites deinstitutionalization as a factor in straining police resources.
The report suggests setting up urgent-response centres to help those most at risk and providing an alternative to jail or hospitalization.