Since the pandemic began there has been a 40% increase in IMPACT responses to 911 calls with police. Our IMPACT team (Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team) attend calls with police across Waterloo Region, Guelph, and Wellington County.
The IMPACT team works collaboratively with Police Officers to ensure we provide support to individuals in challenging situations, connect them to services and supports, and let them know that they matter, regardless of where they are today. IMPACT often meets people when they are not at their best and provides quality mental health care. The partnership works very well as IMPACT is able to bring a level of knowledge and expertise around mental health — safety planning, assessments, de-escalation — that supports officers to make sure that people are safer in the community.
Police are often the first response to mental health calls due to their 24/7 service. Unfortunately, due to funding constraints IMPACT cannot attend every police call and the teams hours are not currently 24/7, they work 8am-midnight.
CEO Helen Fishburn spoke to 570 News Mike Farwell about the IMPACT program and the challenge of not being a 24/7 service presents: