Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Lavoie

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Contact between people with mental illness (PMI) and police is on the rise. The current study analyzed a six-month period of official police data (N = 400 occurrences) to provide a description of the PMI that came into contact with police and the typical characteristics and outcomes of these encounters. Results indicated that these interactions were initiated by family members and are taking place at home. Police are most commonly resolving the situations formally with apprehensions under the Mental health Act (55%), however only half of the time these apprehensions result in the PMI being admitted into hospital care, indicating discrepancy between police apprehension and hospital admission criteria. The presence of substances and violence were significant predictors of MHA apprehensions, whereas the PMI initiating the call was protective of this outcome. When police opted to resolve the situation informally, mental health services were engaged less than half of the time. Implications are that PMI are not being connected with mental health services.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Criminology Commons