Advertisement

Ontario to spend $8M to staff OPP mental health call program

Click to play video: 'Should wellness checks involve police?' Should wellness checks involve police?
There are tens of thousands of mental health wellness checks done by police every year in Canada. But after a number of high-profile cases this summer ended in tragedy, there were increased calls for change. Farah Nasser explores the problem, the debate and alternative solutions. – Nov 27, 2020

Ontario will spend $8.4 million over three years on a provincial police program that aims to improve responses to mental health-related calls.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones shared the details of the program on Tuesday, after the funding was announced in this year’s provincial budget.

The Crisis Call Diversion Program will be staffed by mental health and addictions crisis workers at Ontario Provincial Police communications centres.

Read more: ‘We’re not mental health professionals’: Even police call for change in handling wellness checks

The government says workers assigned to the calls can refer people to mental health supports and help them navigate the system.

Crisis workers will also be able to help de-escalate situations when a police officer has been assigned to the call.

Story continues below advertisement

The program has been piloted at OPP communications centres in London, Ont., and Thunder Bay, Ont., and the province says more locations will be added this year.

Click to play video: 'Vernon’s top cop hoping for changes to mental health call response' Vernon’s top cop hoping for changes to mental health call response
Vernon’s top cop hoping for changes to mental health call response – Jun 9, 2021

Sponsored content