The idea comes from the Canadian Mental Health Association, but Liberal MLA Michel Samson is pleased to champion the cause.
"We're seeing too many examples of where one has to ask if there was better training in place that we could have avoided some of the unfortunate confrontations that have taken place between police and mental health individuals," Samson said Thursday.
Samson pointed to the case of Howard Hyde, who died in a Dartmouth jail last week after two scuffles with guards and a confrontation with police that resulted in him being shocked with a Taser.
Hyde, 45, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. His widow said he was off his medication when he was arrested and tried to flee the police station, while his sister said he had a deep fear of the stun guns after a jolt by police two years earlier.
Samson said he plans to introduce a bill in the legislature next week that would make special training mandatory.