Government of Ontario Invests in St. Thomas Mobile Crisis Intervention Team to Support People in Crisis
St. Thomas, May 24, 2019 - Solicitor General Sylvia Jones was joined today at St.
Thomas Police Headquarters by Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek, and Christine
Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, to highlight
the government's commitment to public safety and mental health with an investment
in a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team that will assist the local police service to
connect people to the mental health services they need.
"Our local police and mental health advocates have told me they need continued support
for their mobile crisis intervention team," said Yurek. "We are answering their
calls and recognize the valuable service these teams provide. Our government has
been clear: mental health and addictions supports are a priority. The people of
St. Thomas will be the ones who benefit from today's investment."
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Elgin will receive $70,575 to fund
a mental health worker who will work with police to engage individuals in crisis,
de-escalate high-pressure situations and connect individuals with necessary health
supports. CMHA Elgin will also receive $70,575 for a Post-Court Transitional Case
Manager to support individuals with mental illness released on bail, found not guilty
or released without detention to engage community mental health services and supportive
"Last week, our Government announced mental health services for the justice sector
that will improve safety for the people of Ontario and increase support for frontline
workers," said Jones. "What we need is an integrated justice system that recognizes
the impact of mental health and addictions on our own frontline staff, as well as
the people who come in contact with police and other justice workers. Mobile Crisis
Intervention Teams are a proven model that have improved outcomes for the people.
Ontario's investments in mental health supports in the justice sector are part of
the whole-of-government approach to fix the fragmented mental health system. Mobile
Crisis Intervention Teams are integrated with Safe Beds and Transitional Case Managers
that help to stabilize the individuals and case managers who follow individuals
in the community.
"These investments are part of our government's commitment to invest $3.8 billion
over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental
health and addictions strategy," said Elliott. "Together, we will create a connected
system of care with comprehensive wrap-around services to ensure that every Ontarian
is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness."
"Mental health can impact our friends, colleagues, neighbours, and family members.
It is a community issue. We need to ensure the best supports are in place to help
strengthen the care being provided to people with mental health challenges in St.
Thomas. Our provincial government recognizes that a collaborative approach to community
safety and wellbeing works, and our local mental health partnership with the Canadian
Mental Health Association in Elgin is a perfect example of the approach we need
for the citizens of St. Thomas," said St. Thomas Police Service Chief Chris Herridge.
"Everyone values the work that our CMHA Mental Health Clinician, Alex Paterson,
has been doing for the community and will continue to do thanks to support from
our provincial government!"
- Investing in mental health and addictions services is part of Ontario's plan to
create a modern, sustainable, and patient-centered public health care system.
- Ontario's priority continues to be to focus our health care investments where they
will have the most impact – on frontline care that is directly accessible for patients
and their families.
- The government will invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to develop and implement a
comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.
- Mobile Crisis Rapid Response (MCRR) teams are made up of mental health workers who
work with police to engage individuals in crisis, de-escalate the situation, and
connect people with needed services.
- Some current MCRRs operate through hospitals, while others are community mental
health service providers.
- Services are either available 24 hours a day, or on nights and weekends with supplemental
services from other agencies during working hours. Crisis response teams can function
as either a primary response team (who act as first-responders and can apprehend
clients if necessary) or as secondary response teams (who assist clients after police
officers have de-escalated the situation). Local police departments determine which
model is most appropriate.
- Costs of operating mobile crisis teams are shared between the local police service
and the hospital/LHIN.
The Ministry of the Solicitor General recently announced a
comprehensive mental health program for Ontario Provincial Police personnel
and their families.