A new resource provides the tools and information necessary to help communities implement Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRTs) and enhance crisis response across the province.
Mobile Crisis Response Teams: A Framework for Ontario and Tools for Developing Mobile Crisis Response Teams are designed to help police and health partners to collaborate with service providers in their communities. MCRTs are a police-led crisis response model, in which a police officer and a mental health worker respond together when police are called to respond to a person in crisis.
The intent of the framework is to support communities to establish different types of mobile crisis response team models, improve outcomes for individuals experiencing a mental health, addictions, neurodevelopmental and/or other crisis, and encourage consistent evaluation practices across the province.
Close to 20 CMHA branches are part of mobile crisis response teams across the province. CMHA North Bay and District is part of a mobile crisis response team in Nipissing, in partnership with the OPP. Mental Health professional is partnered with an OPP office to respond to mental health related calls.
Benefits of MCRTs include:
• Improving client outcomes by providing community assessment to determine links to appropriate community services
• Diverting individuals from unnecessary criminal justice system involvement and reduce pressures on the court and correctional systems
• Diverting individuals from unnecessary hospital emergency department visits and reduce pressures on the health care system
• Mitigating the impact on police resources in relation to mental health and addictions crisis response
• Improving individual and/or caregiver experiences
The resource was developed in partnership between the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who co-chaired a provincial working group which included representation by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Solicitor General and has been supported by the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (P-HSJCC). As part of the development of this resource, the working group held extensive consultations with existing mobile crisis response models and other key stakeholders across the province.
The MCRT Framework and Toolkit are available to download in English and French on the HSJCC website.