Take an online survey, help local mental health research

Have you or a loved one gone to the emergency room at Royal Inland Hospital for a mental-health-related reason?

In a mental health emergency, what barriers have you or a loved one faced to receiving help?

A local mental health advocate is asking Kamloops residents to fill out an online survey in her bid to increase mental health resources.

Elisha Hamilton, a Thompson Rivers University social work student who lost her husband to suicide and has been calling for the expansion of Car 40 in Kamloops, said data gleaned from the survey will be submitted to Interior Health and city council.

Hamilton said the survey comes after local politicians said the Car 40 service was not being utilized enough for Interior Health to fund an additional nurse.

“I’m trying to hone in and give them some data from Kamloops citizens,” Hamilton said.

The Car 40 program pairs a mental health professional with RCMP officers and the team responds to mental-health related calls.

The city has said it is prepared to provide policing resources to expand the service, but needs Interior Health to increase resourcing on its end.

Hamilton launched a change.org petition earlier this year calling for expansion of the Car 40 program. To date, it has received more than 6,500 online signatures.

“A lot of people area at a loss of what to do in the evenings. It’s just filling a need,” Hamilton said.

The survey can be completed on SurveyMonkey.

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