September 24, 2019 – People in crisis now have quicker access to mental health and addiction services thanks to a new collaborative partnership between Timmins and District Hospital and the Timmins Police Service.
The Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team pairs a police officer with a psychiatric registered nurse or mental health specialist to quickly respond to 911 calls involving mental health and/or addiction issues or concerns.
The program is designed to offer timely assistance to people while they are in crisis and to connect them to services at the hospital or in community. Police officers on the team are on hand to keep everyone in the situation safe, while allowing a mental health specialist to use their skills and expertise to directly assist and support the person who is in crisis.
“The Timmins and District Hospital’s mission is to work to with partners to improve the health of Northerners. This collaborative partnership with the Timmins Police Services is a wonderful example of working with our community partners to ensure that the people of our community receive comprehensive Mental Health and Addiction services in emergent situations,” said Natalie Carle, Director of Clinical Services, at the Timmins and District Hospital. “It is our vision that the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team partner with other organizations to increase access to services people need.”
“The Timmins Police Service prides itself on being a modern and responsive policing organization, sensitive to the needs of the public we serve and continuously seeking our creative and efficient ways to better serve the citizens of Timmins. This newly minted Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team is a responsive and progressive approach to offering time sensitive services to persons confronted with mental health challenges and addiction issues,”said John Gauthier, Chief of the Timmins Police Service.
The creation of the mobile team is part of a Regional and Provincial Mental Health and Justice Strategy which aims to divert people with mental health and/or addiction challenges who are in crisis away from incarceration and the justice system and prevent unnecessary emergency department visits or hospitalization. The strategy also aims to connect people with services and supports that address their mental health and well-being.
This mobile team will eventually become fully integrated with other crisis services including safe beds that will provide clients with voluntary community crisis accommodation, while also connecting people with services and supports to enable stable, community living that addresses their health and well-being over the longer term.
“Gone are the days of simply locating persons in crisis and transporting them to the nearest mental health facilities or drug rehabilitation center. That approach has proven to be too simplistic, too narrow minded and in all candor, too repetitive to be effective. This new approach will better allow for specialized Timmins Police officers, working in direct collaboration with mental health professionals, to genuinely attend to the needs of persons in need of assistance,” said Gauthier. “This is a community partnership focused on addressing those persons afflicted with mental health and addiction issues in a progressive and proactive fashion.”
The Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team is available between the hours of 11am and 11 pm, daily.