The Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin is devastated over the events that took place Saturday, June 20th in Malton. Ejaz Ahmed Choudry sadly lost his life at a time when what he desperately needed was help and compassion. Given the work CMHA does to support individuals along their mental health journey, this outcome is difficult to bear.
This comes just after the tragic loss of D’Andre Campbell in April, having called for help with his own mental health crisis.
Our thoughts and hearts are with the friends and family of Mr. Choudry and Mr. Campbell in their time of grief and loss.
CMHA Peel Dufferin is meeting with Peel Regional Police to discuss these incidents and the role of crisis services and the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT) in particular. The Chief has advocated for increased crisis and MCRRT resources and this advocacy is imperative at this time. Clearly, everyone wants to do better to ensure adequate and appropriate resources are available to the public for every individual in crisis.
Additionally, CMHA Peel Dufferin will work with the CMHA Ontario Division to continue advocating to the government for more resources to support the MCRRTs. Across Ontario there is a shortage of these specialized teams within the community sector. The tragedies of these past weeks strengthen the case that the government should make mental health and addictions crisis support a priority.
All communities in Ontario should have the resources to put adequate numbers of mobile crisis response teams on the road 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A mental health professional, such as a nurse or social worker, rides alongside a specially trained police officer in this first response model. When used effectively, the individual experiencing a crisis is often stabilized and the mental heath worker can get them the mental health supports needed.
Mental health is health and we need to do everything we can to ensure it is treated as such.