PACER and the Mental Health, Emergency, Ambulance and Police Collaboration


In 2011 ACT Policing, together with the ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Mental Health, Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce launched the Mental Health, Emergency, Ambulance and Police Collaboration (MHEAPC) with a focus on police and mental health professionals working together to achieve better outcomes for people living with a mental illness or disorder.

The Collaboration delivers the Enhanced Mental Health Training Program to officers of ACT Policing and police recruits; a three day program to enhance how police respond to and manage people in crisis including the inherent issues of dignity, stigma and trauma.

Mental Health clinicians are available to police officers 24/7 to provide clinically informed advice to police officers in support if decision-making connected with responding to people in crisis.

In 2012 the MHEAPC was adopted into the National Mental Health National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, A Contributing Life.

PACER (Police, Ambulance & Clinician Early Response)

In 2019 ACT Policing deployed the tri-service mental health co-response capability PACER as a proof-of-concept in partnership with the ACT Ambulance Service and Canberra Health Services.

Where police would traditionally be the first responders to a mental health call-out, the PACER capability provides a more holistic mental health response to the Canberra community’s most vulnerable mental health patients. The team operates 7-days a week and includes a paramedic, clinician and police officer working together to attend call outs requiring a specialist mental health response.

The collaboration is acknowledged for its achievements in inter-agency cooperation and favourable outcomes for people with mental illness or disorder.

Need support?

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, police assistance may be required but it is preferable that health professionals are involved in the process.

Access Mental Health is available 24/7 on 1800 629 354 or (02) 6205 1065 and can assist by providing information, advice and support as well as direct access to mental health services where required.

In the event of a life threatening mental health emergency, you should call police on Triple Zero (000).

Need to talk?

If you are experiencing a personal crisis the following help lines are available 24/7.

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