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Government of Ontario Invests in St. Thomas Mobile Crisis Intervention Team to Support People in Crisis

News Release

Government of Ontario Invests in St. Thomas Mobile Crisis Intervention Team to Support People in Crisis

Ministry of the Solicitor General

ST. THOMAS - Solicitor General Sylvia Jones was joined today at St. Thomas Police Headquarters by local MPP Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation 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 $70,574 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 $70,574 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 and addictions services and supportive housing.

"Recently, 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 for the justice sector are part of the whole-of-government approach to fix the fractured mental health and addictions 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."

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • The Ministry of the Solicitor General recently announced a comprehensive mental health program for Ontario Provincial Police personnel and their families.

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