Barrie Police, RVH launch joint mobile response crisis team

News release from Barrie Police Service and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

The Barrie Police Service and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) are proud to announce the launch of a joint Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) in the city of Barrie.

Barrie Police Service Constable Guy Peters will join Nicole Barbour, an RVH Crisis Worker in responding to 911 calls for mental health concerns and addictions as well as persons in crisis. Currently the team is working in a six-month pilot project that began on Monday, July 25.

“The Barrie Police Service is excited to be a part of this new partnership with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, that will help us better assist persons in crisis in our community,” says Barrie Police Service Deputy Chief Wyllie Allan. “The unique partnership of the MCRT will allow for a front-line, client-focused approach that can provide the resources and response that are needed.”

The introduction of the MCRT will reduce the need for frontline officers to respond to mental health calls for service, and more specifically, those calls for a person in crisis requiring immediate assistance. This MCRT brings with them years of enhanced training, acute care experience and risk assessment abilities as well as existing contacts with emergency department physicians and psychiatrists that will prove invaluable when working with members of the community experiencing a mental health crisis.

“By pairing an RVH Crisis Worker with an experienced police officer, this team aims to reduce or eliminate the need for additional assessment at our Emergency department. The MCRT will connect individuals in crisis with alternative and more appropriate community supports,” says Carrie Stoner, Interim Manager, Integrated Crisis Services, RVH. “We anticipate the MCRT will help prevent future calls for service from persons in crisis to both patrol and paramedics and will assist the individuals navigate through a complex and often confusing mental healthcare system.”

Cst. Guy Peters has worked in a variety of roles within the Barrie Police, most recently as a member of the Crisis Outreach And Support Team (COAST). An officer with Barrie Police Service since 2010, Cst. Peters has developed an extensive knowledge of various programs and community resources available, making him an invaluable resource for members of the community and fellow officers. Cst. Peters is passionate member of the Service and is committed to establishing meaningful relationships with our community partners and helping those individuals experiencing mental illness and who are in crisis

Nicole Barbour has been an integral part of the RVH Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) since August 2019. In addition to being an experienced and well-respected member of the Crisis team in RVH’s Emergency department, she brings years of experience from the community in both children’s and adult mental health, seniors health, system navigation, home and community care and Collaborate Barrie.

The development of an MCRT has been in development since November 2021. This MCRT pilot project continues to re-establish a collaborative partnership between the Barrie Police Service and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre with the shared goals of minimizing police and hospital interactions through enhanced de-escalation, crisis assessment as well as intervention and triage options for follow up supports.

Banner image supplied

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