ESTEVAN - The Government of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the Estevan Police Service are pleased to announce the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) program is now operational in Estevan.
"The PACT program has been instrumental in the evolution of how police respond to people undergoing a mental health crisis in the community," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. "It is a unique and effective way of handling police calls, directing clients to the right services and ensuring public safety."
In total, the ministries of Health and Corrections, Policing and Public Safety have invested $350,000 to develop the PACT initiative in Estevan. PACT is a collaborative effort between government, police and the health authority to change the way mental health emergencies are handled in the community. PACT pairs a mental health professional with a police officer creating a team that is mobile and can respond to stabilize people experiencing mental health crises.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is dedicated to seeking innovative ways to support residents in rural and remote areas of the province experiencing a mental health crisis," Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley said. "PACT continues to be highly successful in connecting patients to enhanced community services and we are thrilled to now have the program operational in Estevan."
The goal of PACT is to provide the right kind of care for individuals who are better served in the community, reducing stress on emergency rooms and keeping clients who are facing a mental health emergency out of the criminal justice system.
"The Estevan Police Service is excited to team up with the SHA on the PACT initiative," Estevan Chief of Police Rich Lowen said. "PACT is already responding to calls for service and has been instrumental in helping those in crisis - a welcome addition to supporting the needs of our community. We thank the government for their support and look forward to a long and growing partnership in PACT."
The first PACT was established in 2014 in Saskatoon. The program has been expanded to Regina, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, North Battleford and Prince Albert. In 2021, PACT teams across the province were involved in 2,301 case files with over 1,000 people requiring a crisis intervention.