UCCM Police funded $1.6 million to address mental health concerns in Island communities

M’CHIGEENG—UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service (UCCM APS) is pleased to announce that it has received funding from the Ministry of the Solicitor General from various grants totalling $1.6 million.

Receiving this funding will allow the UCCM APS to take a proactive approach to addressing Mental Health and Addictions within the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising (UCCMM) communities. Over the next few months, UCCM APS will be conducting recruitment for the following positions: two special constables, two mobile mental health advisors and a mental health nurse.

The positions will provide support to individuals who require early intervention methods for mental health and addictions and individuals who are in crisis. Expanding on current policing services, the organization will build upon and enhance existing community mobilization and mental health initiatives.

“UCCM APS has had a social navigator on staff since 2014, and a need was recognized to expand the services to deal with the mental health and addiction crisis that our communities are experiencing,” Chief of Police James Killeen said in a press release. “Not only are we trying to enhance our enforcement efforts, but we are also thinking about proactive measures.”

The initiative will increase support for front-line officers, as well as increase community safety and well-being as the force states the calls for service that have an underlying mental health and/or addiction related component are increasing.

“With an integrated and coordinated service approach, the UCCM APS will build current capacity and be better able to support the community members through local partnerships, thereby ensuring a collective care approach for the UCCMM communities,” Chief of Police Killeen added.