Six years ago the Vancouver police declared a mental-health crisis; since then, little has changed

published on October 9, 2019 by Travis Lupick in Georgia Straight

In 2013, former Vancouver police chief Jim Chu and former mayor Gregor Robertson sat side by side at a news conference and called attention to a “growing crisis” of severe mental illnesses.

Section 28 apprehensions under the B.C. Mental Health Act⁠—a law that lets police take a person into custody if an officer deems them a threat to themselves or others—had increased 16 percent from 2010 to 2012.

“There are hundreds of people with severe but untreated mental illnesses that are a high risk to both themselves and residents of the city,” Robertson said in September 2013.

In the years following that declaration, the crisis intensified. By 2015, Section 28 apprehensions were 34 percent above where they were in 2010…

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