Police in Midland-area get help with mental health calls

Southern Georgian Bay OPP and Wendat Community Programs in Midland have teamed up to assist residents experiencing mental health crises.

The partnership will pair a mental health crisis worker with police officers to provide an appropriate response to those in crisis and further support for those at risk.

The North Simcoe Crisis Management and Resource Team (CMART) can assist those who are experiencing a mental health crisis, via initial crisis response or by directing them to the appropriate services that will facilitate ongoing treatment, support and stabilization in the community. 

The partnership began on April 1, 2019 on the heels of a six-month Mental Health Response Unit pilot project and will continue until March 31, 2020. 

The importance of having the right person with the right skills at the right time providing service to those in crisis is paramount

The newly formed CMART is comprised of Provincial Constable Jeff Dorion from the Southern Georgian Bay OPP detachment and Crisis Worker Teesha Gaudet BSW/RSW from Wendat Community Programs. The two work together to assist in the response to incidents reported to police involving a mental health component. The purpose of this partnership is to help reduce emergency room visits and repeated calls for police involvement.  

Related: Waypoint/OPP partnership proving itself in mental health incidents

The CMART program has been made possible by funding to Wendat from the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN with additional funding from the town of Midland, town of Penetanguishene, Tiny Township and Tay Township.

Since the program became operational the team has responded to a number of people experiencing a crisis. In addition to initial response, the team continues to assist those in need through visits, phone calls and referrals to help prevent and divert repeat calls to frontline officers when community programs may be a better fit for the individual.  The follow-up conducted by the team during the pilot project has reduced hospital visits and the expectation would be for that trend to continue.

banner image: P/C J. Dorion of Southern Georgian Bay OPP, T. Gaudet BSW/RSW of Wendat Community Programs