The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington is marking its first year of the IMPACT (Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team) partnership with Wellington OPP and Guelph Police.
The program funded by the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integrated Network, enables specially trained Mental Health Clinicians to attend mental health-related calls alongside officers. The goal of the program is to ensure that residents have better health outcomes by receiving the most appropriate community-based crisis response at the time of need. The enhanced service improves the experience of residents and their families by providing an immediate and comprehensive crisis response in their home and/or community. Residents benefit from less intrusive service interventions by reducing the need for emergency room and hospital involvement.
Over the course of the year, IMPACT has been highly utilized within the community. The team has provided almost 3,000 visits to individuals, either in person or over the phone and has provided support to almost 1,000 different people.
CMHA WW IMPACT workers assist police in a number of ways including:
· Connecting individuals to assess needs and coordinate services
· Providing mobile crisis support for officers during calls
· Consulting with police about calls and making referrals
· Sharing resources for supporting officers after a traumatic call
· Preparing trainings and gathering resources
· Making presentations in the community
This year, IMPACT workers received 1,684 referrals from Wellington OPP and Guelph Police. They have provided 1,550 hours of direct service to clients, and 89 hours of education to police and the community.
“Our first year of service with the IMPACT Team has achieved the goals that we had hoped for. By having our mental health team work hand in hand with our OPP police team, people who are experiencing significant mental health and addiction challenges are able to get immediate assessment and support where and when they need it. This has led to very positive health outcomes for the people involved, and it has also contributed to a significant decrease in the number of presentations to hospital by police. We are thrilled that our partnership has worked so well for the people who need it most, as well as created more efficiencies in our health care system. Our sincere thanks to all members of our team who work so hard each and every day to meet the needs in our rural community. ” says Helen Fishburn, Interim Director of Services.
For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Megan Brady, Communications Specialist
Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington
1-844-264-2993 Ext. 2106/226-979-4578 (cell)