CMHA Ontario staff attended the first-of-its-kind national two-day conference in March 2014, co-hosted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).
At the conference, stakeholders from policing, mental health, criminal justice, and people with lived experience came together to discuss how to improve interactions between police and people living with mental health issues. The conference report has now been released and covers the promising practices discussed and key takeaways of the conference.
This conference was held in the wake of several investigations which were launched into police use-of-force guidelines since the tragic death of Sammy Yatim, an 18 year old fatally shot by police in Toronto in the summer of 2013. Ontario’s Ombudsman, Andre Marin, is examining provincially-approved de-escalation techniques. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci and Gerry McNeilly, the Independent Police Review Director, have also conducted separate internal and external investigations into the Toronto Police Service use-of-force guidelines.
CMHA Ontario has informed this issue by providing submissions to each of the three investigations and encouraging police and mental health agencies within communities to collaborate and find effective solutions when it comes to police interactions with people experiencing a mental health crisis.
To read the full conference report, visit the report website
Read CMHA’s story on the Iacobucci review of the Toronto Police Service.