Officer instrumental in stopping distraught man from harming himself

Posted On Monday July 12, 2021

Trigger Warning: Suicide

Ottawa Fire Services were on Albert Street recently to put out a fire in an encampment area. As they worked, a man overcome by the loss of his belongings and other issues heavily weighing on him, climbed a tree with a rope, intending to hang himself.

Police were called and when the officer arrived, crisis counsellors from a nearby centre were trying to get the man to come down to safety. After several minutes the man was still upset and no longer wished to speak to them, so the officer stepped in.

He immediately established a rapport with the man and arranged for one of the man’s loved ones to attend. As soon as he saw her, the man climbed down on his own.

Paramedics assessed him before taking him to hospital for evaluation, with the officer riding in the ambulance with him.

“In any type of call we go to, we need to establish a rapport,” says the officer. “Everyone isn’t the same and responds differently to what I do or say.  We have to consider their individual needs.”  

If you are in crisis, help is available. Call the Distress Centre of Ottawa, the Victim Support Unit, the Mental Health Unit or contact your family doctor.