Health Researchers Question Police Claims of Mental Health “Crisis”

4
116

The Georgia Straight interviews two University of British Columbia health researchers who argue that the Vancouver Police Department “is unfairly linking mental illness to violent crime” and “exaggerating the need for greater police control over those with mental health challenges.” The researchers suggest it’s a ploy by police to get more funding even as crime is dropping.

The Straight quotes from a paper in Critical Public Health by the researchers: “The same time that homicide rates and violent crime rates are low and steadily declining in Vancouver and the rest of Canada, the (Vancouver Police Department) is pushing forward recommendations for increased surveillance and police presence in Vancouver in response to escalating dangers arising from the ‘mental health crisis’.”

The researchers describe a “blending of criminal justice and mental health policy in Canada,” reports the Straight. And it is occurring, the researchers argue, as public funding for community services and supports for people diagnosed with mental disorders have been decreasing and police funding has been steadily increasing.

Health researchers question VPD’s claim Vancouver is experiencing a mental-health “crisis” (Georgia Straight, February 25, 2015)

Boyd, Jade, and Thomas Kerr. “Policing ‘Vancouver’s Mental Health Crisis’: A Critical Discourse Analysis.” Critical Public Health 0, no. 0 (February 9, 2015): 1–16. doi:10.1080/09581596.2015.1007923. (Abstract)

Support MIA

MIA relies on the support of its readers to exist. Please consider a donation to help us provide news, essays, podcasts and continuing education courses that explore alternatives to the current paradigm of psychiatric care. Your tax-deductible donation will help build a community devoted to creating such change.

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Billing Details

Donation Total: $20 One Time

4 COMMENTS

  1. “…the VPD is pushing forward recommendations for increased surveillance and police presence in Vancouver in response to escalating dangers arising from the ‘mental health crisis’.”

    In that context, the report describes an “expansion of criminal justice and the blending of criminal justice and mental health policy in Canada”.

    “The Province of BC and Vancouver Coastal Health have cut back on peer-run services for people with mental health concerns,” it states. “Meanwhile, the VPD budget continues to rise each year.”

    I’m quite certain this is the absolute opposite of an appropriate approach. And way to increase stigmatization of the so called “mentally ill,” VPD.

    Just an FYI, ending the drugging of people on psychoactive drugs, that cause psychosis and mania and violence would be a better idea.

    I feel like a grown adult living in a world controlled by children, running around calling other people names. The DSM disorders are scientifically “lacking in validity.” When will this infantile and unjust defamation of other human beings end?

  2. “blending of criminal justice and mental health policy in Canada,”
    Well: we told you. It’s social control 101.
    War on drugs, war on terror, war on mental illness… – scare tactics which has one aim and it’s not to make you safe. It’s to monitor and oppress whole sectors of the population based on race, religion, cultural background, gender etc. It has not prevented on instance of violent crime and created a whole system of oppression. Welcome to the brave new world.