It's time to rethink police wellness checks, mental health advocates say

Living with bipolar disorder for 25 years has led Bill Pringle to dark places. Along the way, he said he has gained insight into how police handle mental health crises and what needs to change in their approach.

The Saskatoon man has had eight suicide attempts, which sometimes included interacting with police officers.

Once, he was treated as though he had committed a crime. In another instance, he described police as having a reassuring effect. "The difference in training was very evident," Pringle said.

During one of his earlier suicide attempts, years ago while living in Vancouver, he said the police "essentially accused me of attention-seeking and would not call an ambulance for me."


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