For immediate release
Innovative Mental Health Crisis program now has mental health professionals working together with the Caledon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police
Brampton, Ontario – The Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Branch (CMHA Peel) and the Caledon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) held a News Conference earlier today to announce the expansion of 24.7 Crisis Support Peel into Caledon.
24.7 Crisis Support Peel is a community crisis service comprised of specially trained plain-clothes police officers and mental health professionals. They provide timely response to adults (16 years and over) experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis; individuals having difficulties coping; and family, caregivers and friends needing support. The expansion of this mental health and addictions crisis service builds on the success of 24.7 Crisis Support Peel already in place in Brampton and Mississauga in partnership with Peel Regional Police.
“Expansion of 24.7 Crisis Support Peel is aligned with Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, and Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. Working in collaboration with community and health service partners, the Central West LHIN is committed to placing the needs of LHIN residents first, improving mental health and addictions services by establishing the right continuum of adult-based services accessible by all,” said Scott McLeod, CEO Central West Local Health Integration network (LHIN).
“The Central West LHIN, Caledon OPP and our other partners have shown tremendous leadership supporting individuals experiencing mental health crises,” remarked CMHA Peel CEO David Smith. “In launching 24.7 Crisis Support Peel they have embraced the goal of minimizing the criminalization of mental illness, and shown a commitment to developing innovative strategies to support mental health clients and connect them to treatment.”
24.7 Crisis Support Peel features an integrated team for maximum flexibility and responsiveness, comprised of mental health professionals and specially trained police officers. In keeping with other crisis models, officers are in plain clothes and drive unmarked vehicles, which can help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and also helps to protect the privacy of the clients. This anonymity also allows clients to feel more at ease with officers, promoting a more open and trusting relationship and allowing the team to conduct a thorough and accurate mental health assessment.
“Today’s announcement aligns well with The OPP Mental Health Strategy: Our People, Our Communities by recognizing the need to support OPP members with the necessary resources and education so they can enjoy the best possible physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being. It also recognizes the importance of supporting these same members with the resources and education necessary to enhance police interactions with people with mental health issues,” said OPP Superintendent Rose DiMarco. “Our partnerships with the Canadian Mental Health Association and the LHIN have enhanced our capabilities to better serve Town of Caledon residents and we will continue to monitor through analytics and best practices how we can continue to improve service to the community.”
“The launch of 24.7 Crisis Support Peel is welcome news for Caledon residents. I want to thank the Caledon Detachment of the OPP, the Canadian Mental Health Association Peel and the Central West LHIN for recognizing the need in our community and for collaborating to make it happen” said Mayor Allan Thompson.
24.7 Crisis Support Peel uses a Recovery-based, client-centered approach, which focuses on the client’s strengths. Referrals to short and long-term supports can also be facilitated to minimize the chances of future crises. 24.7 Crisis Support Peel has been able to forge strong collaborative community relationships which have allowed the service to develop safety plans and avoid unnecessary trips to local Emergency Departments.
The launch of this program with Caledon OPP builds on the success that 24.7 Crisis Support Peel has experienced over the last year in partnership with Peel Regional Police. Since the program began last March, 24.7 Crisis Support Peel has exceeded all expectations with almost 20,000 interactions – that’s calls, visits, follow-ups – with individuals in mental health or addictions crisis. Despite this, the apprehension rate for the program is only 9% (under Section 17 of the Mental Health Act, police have authority to apprehend and take someone to hospital). Additionally, almost 100% of those clients have been admitted to hospital, reducing unnecessary Emergency Department visits.