Ombudsperson to launch probe of mobile mental health units after Island man’s death

Ombudsperson to launch probe of mobile mental health units after Island man’s death

Prince Edward Island’s ombudsperson is now investigating the province’s cell psychological health and fitness companies, after a committee of MLAs grew anxious about how a lack of co-ordination may perhaps have contributed to the dying of Tyler Knockwood.

The 34-12 months-old was owning a mental wellness disaster when he took his have life in January. His family’s repeated phone calls for aid brought Charlottetown police officers to their residence, but not just one of P.E.I.’s specialized units.

The province’s Standing Committee on Overall health and Social Improvement was informed the Island’s cell psychological health and fitness unit was not called owing to “a failure in conversation, which resulted in the death of an Islander,” according to an Oct. 19 letter chair Susie Dillon sent to ombudsperson Sandy Hermiston.

“The cell mental wellbeing unit did not know of the mental well being disaster right up until just after the simple fact,” Dillon wrote. “It seems that no modifications or opinions of the program and dispatch procedure have been performed.”

In an interview with CBC News Friday, Hermiston pressured that her group would not be hunting into the situations in the hrs leading up to Knockwood’s demise. 

A man with a touque on smiles for the camera.
A member of Lennox Island Initial Nation, Tyler Knockwood experienced observed a new enthusiasm doing work on the restoration of Province Residence in the months before his dying at 34. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

“There was a grievance designed about the way the Charlottetown law enforcement taken care of the make a difference. That complaint is processed under a absolutely different piece of legislation and a completely distinct process,” she mentioned. “Summerside law enforcement have been assigned that matter so I will not be looking into that that is not my jurisdiction.

“There is no issue in a further system wanting at the identical dilemma, so we will be actually focusing on mobile psychological well being.”

Hermiston explained she isn’t going to have an estimate of how long her office’s investigation will just take.  

A man in a van.
A file photo from Oct 2020 reveals just one of 3 unmarked autos P.E.I. prepared to use for its cellular mental wellness crisis unit workforce. (P.E.I. Govt)

As the MLAs had been listening to from witnesses on Oct. 18, they turned persuaded that the absence of a centralized dispatch program for the cell mental wellness plan requires to be fixed instantly.

At this time, everyone needing to accessibility a mobile mental overall health device specifically has to call 1-833-553-6983. There is also the option to contact 811 or 911, and a dispatcher could likely contact the device.

But Charlottetown Police Products and services has its have dispatcher, and it is up to the officers assigned to a criticism or a get in touch with for help to make contact with the cell psychological wellness unit.

The committee read that Charlottetown law enforcement did not connect with the unit last January, when Knockwood’s spouse and children asked for enable working with his “excessive paranoia,” which appeared to be getting worse.

An assistant deputy minister with the Department of Wellness and Wellness agreed a centralized dispatch method for all emergency calls could make improvements to efficiency.

Karla Bernard at desk.
Environmentally friendly Occasion MLA Karla Bernard thoughts Office of Wellbeing officers about the mobile mental well being units all through an October legislative committee assembly. (CBC)

“It is unlucky that the units aren’t conversing to each individual other and calls are not currently being redirected to the mobile psychological health line,” Deborah Bradley explained to the MLAs. “I concur that we want to locate options so that there is a seamless changeover for the phone calls to be manufactured.”

When the cellular psychological overall health company was launched two several years in the past, one particular of the ambitions was to change the dealing with of some wellness checks from law enforcement to psychological health and fitness specialists, which includes a paramedic and a clinician specializing in social perform.