System Negotiator at Downtown Community Courts

facilitating positive change in our community
System Negotiator at Downtown Community Courts

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Funded by the Law Foundation of B.C., Watari’s System Negotiator is part of the Mental Health Program (MHP) at Vancouver’s Downtown Community Courts (DCC). Working as part of the team, our System Negotiator assists individuals in navigating their specific pathway that was developed through a case management plan.

The DCC MHP was developed as a result of the need to provide integrated assessments, case plans and support for accused persons who are chronically mentally ill. The program develops case plans and implementation strategies, provides direct support for participants and works with existing community based agencies and programs. The program’s assertive case management team is located at DCC and is comprised of a Forensic Liaison Nurse, Probation Officer, and the Watari System Negotiator.

Many of the participants of the MHP have had interactions with housing, income assistance, mental health teams and addictions service providers, yet continue to struggle with these and other issues. The primary purpose of the Watari System Negotiator, and their team, is to appropriately assess individuals presenting in court.  These individuals would often be better, and more effectively served, in the health and social service realm, rather than the criminal justice stream.

The program team also accesses the case management team at the Vancouver Intensive Supervision Unit, as well as residential placements at the Burnaby Center for Mental Health and Addictions (BCMHA).  In addition to these existing services, there are also beds available at the Hazelwood Hotel, St Helen’s Hotel and Community Builder facilities.

The Mental Health Program has established formal links and partnerships with the Strathcona Care Team, the West End Care Team, the Forensic Clinic, the Downtown Addictions Clinic, the Pender Addictions Clinic and BC Housing.   Recently, a consulting psychiatrist was added to the team, allowing a quicker response to be medication and treatment plans.

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This program is a part of the Downtown Community Court system, and as such, referrals are directly related to people coming in contact with the courts.

For more information about this programs, please call the System Negotiator Andrew Drury at 604.660.8820 or e-mail her at andrew.drury@gov.bc.ca.