Frank Elsner, Chief Constable, Victoria Police Department

To Whom It May Concern:

RE: Clubhouse International

As the new Chief Constable for the city of Victoria I have been struck by the number of mental health interactions our officers deal with each day.  In fact, non-criminal interactions with persons who have some form of mental health issue are one of the largest drains on police resources today.  Although there are numerous agencies within our city that have some carriage of mental health issues, I know we can do more.  I firmly believe that a holistic community approach is the only way for us to deal with this impending crisis.  Individuals with mental health issues are too often not receiving the services they so critically need.

I don't believe there is a single solution to this issue.  I believe that a multi-pronged approach with all of us doing our part will not only relieve some of the strain our agencies are feeling but will also offer the appropriate care that those most in need require.  I recently had the privilege of learning about Clubhouse International.  Clubhouse International is a community based non-profit organization which offers members opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education, and access to medical and psychiatric services through a single caring and safe environment so that members can achieve a sense of belonging and become productive members of society.

Clubhouse International is already well established in BC communities like Richmond, who have demonstrated fantastic results with their "family members" in a very cost effective model.  I firmly believe that our community would be well served by implementing our own Clubhouse International.  The services they offer are not presently being offered but would provide the skills and resources necessary for persons with mental health issues to live productive independent lives in our community.

I would be happy to speak further with you about this initiative at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Frank J. Elsner