Orillia, ON - Mental Health has long been a priority for the Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP). This week marks the Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health
Week with communities across the country supporting mental health initiatives. The
OPP is proud to provide ongoing support to its people and communities with its Mental
Health Strategy: Our People, Our Communities.
Mental health and wellness go hand in hand, a premise that underlies the OPP Mental
Health Strategy. The strategy has two related but distinct components - < em>Supporting
Our People: Healthy Workforce and Supporting Our Communities: Police Interactions
with People with Mental Health Issues. The OPP has made considerable progress since
launching the strategy in December 2015.
"Mental health is an important issue, for everyone. The goal of the strategy is
to improve the response to the mental health needs of our people and the individuals
in the communities we serve," Commissioner Vince Hawkes said.
Some of the notable achievements over the last two years in Supporting Our People
include delivering mental health awareness and resiliency training to more than
8,000 OPP members, expanded formal training to the Auxiliary Program and increased
access to the OPP Critical Incident Stress Response Team/Peer Support Program.
Continued progress was made in the established priorities for action during the
second year of implementation of Supporting Our Communities. Achievements include
increased ref errals to community support services, tools to aid police in communicating
more effectively with medical professionals and people experiencing a mental health
crisis, over 1,200 OPP members have completed Crisis Intervention Training, and
continued training for OPP members in de-escalation techniques.
"Members across the organization continue to embrace this evolving strategy," Commissioner
Hawkes said. "We have made significant achievements, but recognize there will always
be more work to be done. I am proud of all that has been accomplished in just over
two years in support of the important issue of mental health."
OPP Mental Health Strategy Progress Report
Notable achievements in Supporting Our People: Healthy Workforce include:
- Wellness Unit resources were designed to enhance awareness of and access to wellness
programs and services that are available to support OPP members, supervisors, managers,
retirees, auxiliaries and families.
- Delivered Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), a mental health awareness and resiliency
program to more than 8,000 OPP members, and expanded formal training to the Auxiliary
Program. R2MR is mandatory training for all new employees.
- Implemented the Total Health Reinvestment (THRIVE) Strategy which recognizes the
critical link between mental and physical wellness.
- Enhanced promotion and incentives of the Fitness Pin Program, encouraging all OPP
members to demonstrate their personal commitment to health and fitness.
- Implemented an Early Intervention Program (EIP) pilot in select regions and bureaus
in the fall of 2017. The EIP is a confidential, non-disciplinary, proactive and
voluntary wellness tool that may facilitate increased awareness of wellness issues,
as well as provide supportive resources to OPP members as they meet the demands
of their professional and personal lives.
- Findings from 2016-17 OPP Wellness Unit and Psychological Health, and Well-being
Program 2016-17 Research Baseline indicate that OPP members are using protective
factors like family and social supports, optimism and healthy coping strategies
to support overall well-being.
- Enhanced critical incident debriefing and peer-support to ensure services are readily
available through increased access to the OPP Critical Incident Stress Response
Team/Peer Support Program.
- Continuing to participate in Not Myself @ Work Today Campaign, a yearly anti-stigma
and awareness program to encourage open discussion about mental wellness among all
Advances in Supporting Our Communities: Police Interactions with People with Mental
Health Issues include:
- An increase in early referrals to community support services for those with mental
health issues through the use of situation tables that identify persons, families,
groups or locations at acutely elevated risk of harm and customize a multi-disciplinary
intervention to mitigate those risks.
- De-escalation training continued to be delivered to frontline members in 2017 as
part of the annual in-service training schedule. Frontline members will receive
additional de-escalation training in 2018.
- Frontline members continue to use the interRAI Brief Mental Health Screener (BMHS)
© as a tool to help officers communicate more effectively with medical professionals
about why a person is being brought to a hospital for psychiatric assessment.
- Over 1200 OPP members have completed Crisis Intervention Training. Mental Health
First Aid for Public Safety training was developed in conjunction with stakeholders,
and will be available to members in 2018.
- Approximately one-third of OPP detachments have a Transfer of Care Protocol with
local hospitals and almost half of OPP detachments have a Collaborative Response
Model Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed with community stakeholders. The OPP
will continue to develop these across the province.