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Report Urges For Better Police Training

Update Date: Aug 30, 2014 05:47 PM EDT

A new report released by Mental Health Commission of Canada has identified ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive. 

"People with mental illnesses is a prominent issue for Canada's police community, and today's report builds on the increasingly collaborative relationship between law enforcement and people with mental illnesses," said Queen's adjunct professor Dorothy Cotton, a forensic psychologist with an interest in the area of police psychology, in the press release. "This is a gap-analysis tool that police academy and police services can use to improve their education and training."

The report aimed at improving interactions between police and people living with mental health problems consists of several key recommendations. One of those recommendations is that police learning should be designed and delivered by a combination of police personnel, adult educators, mental health professionals, mental health advocacy organizations and people living with mental illness.

The report also advocated for a more uniform inclusion of no-physical interventions in use-of-force training. 

"The most important part of the report and what comes after is making sure people living with mental illness are involved in the delivery of training," added Dr. Cotton. She has also earned a Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in relation to interactions between police and people with mental illness.

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