Beginning at the end of June, London will begin to see 10 Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) London-Middlesex staff working around the clock to provide crisis response to mental health-related calls.
In a recently released report, it was recommended that all areas within the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) have 24-7 mobile crisis response teams to handle and urgently respond to crisis or emergency calls from the police, criminal justice and hospital emergency departments. Urgent calls from the community will also be responded to.
“Increasing the capacity through a dedicated mobile outreach team to respond to calls around the clock every day of the year whenever and wherever they occur will significantly benefit out community,” said Elizabeth Abbott, chair of the local CMHA board, adding, “Particularly those experiencing a mental health crisis.”
This is something the London police have been interested in seeing done within the Forest City for a while. Chief Brad Duncan said this could effectively reduce the need for repeated police intervention.
“A full-time mobile outreach team will provide out community with a collaborative care centred model, focused on timely assistance for those individuals experiencing acute mental health crises and effectively reducing the need for repeated police intervention,” Duncan said.
Services to vulnerable populations will continue to be offered through dedicated resources or through shared protocols between service providers. Over time, as resources become available, safe beds for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis will be created.
The mobile unit will be fully enhanced by Oct. 31.