Const. Joshua Waltman, who worked with people experiencing homelessness on the Whalley strip in Surrey, is Nanaimo RCMP detachment’s new mental health liaison officer. (Photo submitted)

Const. Joshua Waltman, who worked with people experiencing homelessness on the Whalley strip in Surrey, is Nanaimo RCMP detachment’s new mental health liaison officer. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo RCMP detachment selects new mental health liaison officer

Const. Josh Waltman hopes to connect with high-risk individuals

The Nanaimo RCMP detachment now has a mental health liaison officer.

Const. Joshua Waltman, who has 12 years police service, has been selected as the mental health liaison officer for the detachment.

Waltman, according to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, will be responsible for attending to mental health calls and facilitating a collaborative, consistent and co-ordinated approach to address the needs of people with mental illness in Nanaimo.

“Const. Waltman brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from his previous post in Surrey, and will be of great assistance to our front-line officers,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in the release.

In Surrey, Waltman worked the beat with several officers assigned to the Surrey Outreach Team that patrolled the Whalley strip, home to many marginalized people. Their goal was not to arrest, but to engage with people experiencing homelessness, many of whom had mental health and addiction issues. Waltman received advanced training in core addiction practices that helped him with getting to know the names and stories of the people he worked with and assist them with getting off the strip and into housing, detox or recovery.

In Nanaimo, Waltman will work with a variety of municipal, provincial and federal partners and on most days he will work in regular street clothes.

“Our front-line officers are over-tasked. I hope to alleviate some of the pressures they face as mental health calls can be challenging and often time-consuming,” Waltman said in the release. “I also hope to connect with many of our high-risk individuals and, in doing so, provide continuity and familiarity for them. Developing these kinds of relationships was the recipe for our success in Surrey. I hope to see similar successes here.”

O’Brien said Waltman had already started his duties.

READ ALSO: New RCMP position a response to a rise in mental health calls



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

addictionsHomelessnessmental healthRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quitting smoking can start with becoming a non-smoker for just a day, says medical director of community health in Nanaimo. (Stock photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Plenty of support available to help people quit smoking

Doctor urges smokers to try to become non-smokers for a day tomorrow, Weedless Wednesday

Vancouver Island University. (File photo)
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
AUDIO: Interview with broadcaster and Island resident Terry David Mulligan

PQBeat podcast asks Nanoose Bay resident about radio and TV career, wine and more

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read