From left: Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Staff Sgt. David Doxey, Jennifer Bechtel, Kim Catcher, Tracy Dupuis, Staff Sgt. Jeimy Karavelus, and Chief Jeff DeRuyter.
CMHA Waterloo Wellington’s Guelph-based IMPACT team, a joint venture with the Guelph Police Service, has earned special recognition from the Guelph Police Services Board.
Jennifer Bechtel, Kim Catcher, and Tracy Dupuis of CMHA WW were given the Community Partner Award on Wednesday, May 17th, commending their success in improving access to mental health care when police officers respond to calls requiring their services.
The Guelph-based IMPACT (Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team) initiative has led to two CMHA workers operating out of the Guelph Police headquarters, dedicated to improving the quality of care for those in need. Along with Staff Sgts. David Doxey, Cate Welsh, and Jeimy Karavelus, the team was formed with the goal of creating a system in which members of CMHA and Guelph Police officers could best jointly respond to public needs when there is a mental health aspect, addiction issues, or an individual in crisis.
“The partnership with the Guelph Police Service demonstrates a true desire and commitment from both the Guelph Police and the IMPACT staff to transform the way police respond to mental health, addictions, or crisis calls by providing a collaborative, more meaningful level of care,” said Bechtel, Manager of IMPACT.
“I’m proud of the way the IMPACT staff and Guelph Police work together to make a positive difference in the lives of people every day. It is an honour for us to receive this recognition, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the Guelph Police Service in providing a quality system of care to the residents of Guelph.”
20 Guelph Police Service officers have since received Crisis Intervention Training. Police have also seen a decrease in time spent on mental health calls, as well as a decrease in wait times at Guelph General Hospital for mental health assessments.
For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Martin Bauman, Communications Specialist
Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington
1-844-264-2993 Ext. 2106