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October 29, 2008

This week the Victoria Police Department demonstrated their commitment to helping people living with mental health and addictions challenges by providing financial awards for Camosun College students preparing for a career in the mental health field.

“This funding commitment reflects the Victoria Police Department’s belief that this expertise is critically needed in our community,” says Insp. Darrell McLean in making the announcement. “It is our hope that some of these graduates will work side by side with police officers in assisting people who are dealing with acute mental illness and/or addiction issues or will possibly consider a career in policing.”

“We are pleased that the Victoria Police Department is partnering with us over the next three years to provide awards to graduates from our mental health programs,” says Anita Ferriss, Chair, Camosun College Human Services Programs. “In addition to funding three annual awards, a member of the Victoria Police Department has recently joined our Mental Health Advisory Committee. We look forward to working together in the coming years to continually improve the quality of services for people living with mental health and/or addiction challenges.”

The Victoria Police Department is actively involved in addressing mental health and addictions issues within the community through its leadership and participation on teams such as IMCRT (Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team) and VICOT (Victoria Integrated Community Outreach Team). These teams are based on the principle that people in crisis require intensive, multidisciplinary supports and services. Policing is one piece of a much larger response that is required to reduce the public disorder and personal anguish that are impacting our citizens, our community and our urban landscape.

Through the Victoria Police Department’s financial contribution, awards will be presented annually to two students in the Community Mental Health Worker Certificate Program based on their demonstrated ability to practise the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation and promote advocacy for individuals with mental illness. In addition, one award will be presented annually to a student in the Inteprofessional Mental Health and Addictions Program based on the same criteria.

In all cases, award recipients are expected to demonstrate resilient attributes that have helped them overcome adversity in successfully completing their program of study.

Victoria Police Department representatives partnered actively with Camosun College to develop the selection criteria. The Department will continue to advocate for the importance of mental health educational programs, and the skill sets they develop, and will seek to expand its financial contributions over time.

Camosun Foundation


Anita Ferriss, Chair, Human Services

Last updated: December 21, 2009 1:18 pm

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