Ontario Expanding Mobile Crisis Response Teams in Niagara
Niagara Falls – The Ontario government is improving public safety and supports for people in crisis by investing more than $4 million over two years to expand Mobile Crisis Response Teams across the province, including $144,150.00 for the Niagara Regional Police Service.
Police services in 28 communities will receive grant funding to increase their capacity to respond to calls from individuals experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis. The investment will enable police services to add mental health and addictions crisis workers to existing Mobile Crisis Response Teams and help ensure these specialized resources are available where and when needed.
“In a time of crisis, a Mobile Crisis Response Team can make a critical life-saving difference by safely deescalating a crisis,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.
“This important funding will help support frontline officers right across the region.”
“Mobile Crisis Response Teams are best positioned to respond to people experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis and to de-escalate situations that could pose a risk to public safety,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General for Ontario.
“At a time when police are increasingly confronted with the need to assist vulnerable people in acute crisis situations, this new grant program will expand their ability to deliver appropriate services and underlines our government’s commitment to public safety.”
“As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, incidents involving persons in our community suffering from mental health and/or an addictions crisis have only grown,” said Bryan MacCulloch, Chief of the Niagara Regional Police Service.
“Building upon the success that we have observed elsewhere in the Niagara Region, we are looking forward to provide an enhanced and empathetic response to support people living in our community, at a time when they are most vulnerable.”
Mobile Crisis Response Teams consist of police officers and crisis workers working together to respond to complex situations where mental health or addictions may be a factor. Supported by the police, crisis workers determine whether an individual in crisis should be sent to an emergency department for treatment and are equipped to provide connections to community programming and supports to address an individual’s physical and mental well-being over the longer term.
“Our government is investing in the safety of our dedicated women and men on the frontlines, while ensuring those in crisis have easier access to high-quality mental health supports, where and when they need them,” said Hon. Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“Through this expansion of specialized resources, we are taking critical steps toward providing better supports for individuals living with mental health and addictions challenges, including supports to help reduce their interactions with police.”
The Mobile Crisis Response Teams Enhancement Grant is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness to build Ontario’s mental health and addictions system and complements the government’s earlier commitments to protect people’s health and enhance mobile crisis intervention teams across the province to help build a province where all people feel safe and protected.