Alberta invests $1.6M towards ‘HealthIM’ digital tool for mental-health related police calls

The provincial government is investing $1.6 million for the launch of HealthIM, a digital tool that is designed to help to support police services with mental health crisis calls. The funding is in addition to the $789,000 provided last year.

The new support tool is expected to help police respond safely to health-care issues, including mental health and addictions.

The tool will be launched in July by the Edmonton Police Service.

“We are honoured to be the first police service in Alberta to utilize HealthIM’s mobile application to deliver an empathetic, evidence-based approach to emergency mental health crisis calls. HealthIM is an innovative approach for EPS to shape a safer city by using science from a health perspective to provide compassionate policing to citizens experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Ron Anderson, chief innovation and technology officer and acting chief of police for the Edmonton Police Service.

HealthIM is meant to provide police with de-escalation techniques, and give officers access to previously known information about the person in crisis.

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A mental health screening assessment will help to determine if the person experiencing the crisis can be transported to a health facility under the Mental Health Act, or if alternative community-based services are available and more appropriate.

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