Blue Line

New digital platform improves response, safety for people in crisis in Port Moody

March 6, 2024  By British Columbia Government

Mar. 6, 2024, Port Moody, B.C. – People experiencing a mental health or addiction emergency in Port Moody will receive an improved response from police officers with HealthIM, an innovative, evidence-based digital tool paving the way for better crisis support in B.C.

“Police officers in our province have seen first-hand the impacts and challenges when responding to mental-health or substance-use crisis-related calls,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We are helping officers to support people in crisis with HealthIM, a risk-screening tool that will help them to de-escalate and better navigate the complexities of mental health emergencies.”

HealthIM is a digital public safety system designed to improve emergency police response in mental health and addiction crisis situations, increasing safety for first responders, healthcare staff and the person in crisis. The system will support better interaction between the person in crisis and the responding police officer by enabling the officer to better understand the reason for the person’s behaviour.

“Collaborative and coordinated care in assessing and responding to individuals in crisis can save lives and create safer working conditions for first responders,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Thanks to this new technology, police can work with healthcare professionals to make assessments and respond faster with more information, ensuring appropriate support to those in need. This advancement is an important step in our journey toward a more caring and efficient mental health and addictions system of care.”


The responding officer will be guided through a series of questions to help facilitate a better assessment of the person in crisis. Their communication with healthcare partners will also be enhanced as the system will help them use the same clinical language and will provide the information doctors and nurses need at hand, immediately. Other benefits include:

  • the assessment of risk of harm to self or others, which helps determine the best way that person can receive help;
  • provides client-specific safety and de-escalation information to facilitate a trauma-informed response, leading to better outcomes;
  • alerts health-care partners to incoming persons escorted by emergency responders, and flags instances of weapon possession and/or violent behaviour; and
  • a risk of harm-analysis history can be developed over time, providing insight into how to assist those with previous police contact.

HealthIM is advancing the Safer Communities Action Plan’s goal of creating safe, healthy communities for everyone. The plan improves coordination between law enforcement, community service organizations, justice system actors, health providers and people who are recovering from addiction and mental health challenges in a collaborative, coordinated approach to address the issues people are seeing in their communities.

“All police in B.C. can now enjoy the opportunity to leverage this technology. The Port Moody Police Department are very proud to now be using HealthIM. Police all over this province interact, on a daily basis, with people who suffer from mental-health challenges or substance-abuse challenges and we know this tool will assist our front-line officers to create efficiencies and better outcomes for those who come into contact with police,” said David Fleugel, chief constable, Port Moody Police Department.

The Safer Communities Action Plan aligns with recommendations from several community safety reports, including the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act and the BC First Nations Justice Strategy.

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