Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division CEO Camille Quenneville recently appeared on Global News Morning to discuss mental health crisis calls.
The interview focused on how mobile crisis response team partnerships between mental health agencies and police services in communities around the province are a best practice in de-escalating crisis situations and getting individuals the appropriate supports they need. However, Quenneville pointed to a need for consistency in these programs across the province, as well as 24-7 availability.
Calls for reform of mental health crisis response have ramped up in recent weeks in light of the deaths of four racialized individuals during police calls since April. Read CMHA Ontario’s statement on this issue.
Mobile crisis response teams involve mental health professionals work alongside police on mental health calls to assess, triage, de-escalate and provide resources to individuals in a mental health or addictions-related crisis. These partnerships aim to divert individuals from unnecessary hospital emergency department visits and justice involvement, mitigate strain on police resources, provide assessment to determine links to appropriate community services, improve individual and caregiver experiences, decrease stigma of individuals living with mental health and/or addictions issues, and build and maintain effective partnerships between police services and health care agencies.
Learn more about mobile crisis response teams here.