“People can experience a crisis at any time, so crisis workers should be available to help at any time." — Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
Regina (12 May 2016) — Members of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU/NUPGE) who work at the Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit regret that, due to funding cuts, as of June 1, they will no longer be able to provide services during daytime hours Monday to Friday.
Crisis support cutback, leaving massive gap in system
Currently, front-line staff at the Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit provide services 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, delivering care for individuals and families in need of crisis intervention.
Crisis workers are often the first point of contact for those in crisis. They respond to people in need of emergency care and that requires addressing a variety of psychological and emotional needs. They are highly trained professionals who connect clients in distress to many support services in the community. For example, when workers respond to a crisis, clients are provided with access to a child protection worker and are assessed for mental health, domestic violence, and addiction issues.
Cuts to public support services will impact health and safety of community
Some of the services that staff at the Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit will no longer be able to provide during weekdays include
- personal crisis counseling;
- child abuse and neglect referrals
- lunch hour child-protection coverage
- suicide intervention
- family conflict resolution
- mental health community support
- addictions counselling and referrals
- and many other services
“This is a significant loss to the community,” said Bob Bymoen, President of SGEU. “The services that front-line crisis workers provide are integral to the well-being and safety of individuals, families and children in Prince Albert. Some of the most vulnerable people in this province have come to rely on Mobile Crisis when they need help.”
Crises don't happen on a set schedule
“People can experience a crisis at any time, so crisis workers should be available to help at any time,” added Bymoen.
In 2015/16, the Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit responded to 8,951 calls — a 6% increase over 2014/15 and a 13% increase over 2013/14.
“At a time when Saskatchewan’s population is growing, we need more services not fewer,” said Bymoen.
Crisis workers committed to provide quality support to families and individuals
Crisis workers would like to reassure their clients and the Prince Albert community that they will continue to provide all services, including emergency family and child protection during the hours that the Ministry of Social Services Client Service Centre is closed — between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., Monday to Friday, and for 24 hours on weekends and statutory holidays.
Although crisis workers are disappointed that they can no longer provide weekday daytime services to families and individuals, they will continue to serve the Prince Albert community with the same dedication and dependability that they have always provided.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE