Middlesex County Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team receives funding to expand

opp cruiser
OPP cruiser. File photo

Middlesex County OPP is among 28 police services across Ontario to receive part of an overall $4 million provincial grant supporting mobile crisis rapid response teams.

The Middlesex County Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team was launched in fall 2020 and has received roughly 1,500 calls and follow-up calls for service since its inception, officials said in a release Wednesday.

It’s the result of a partnership between the Canadian Mental Health Association, Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services and the Middlesex County OPP.

The funding will allow the team to hire a second mental health and addictions crisis worker to work alongside a dedicated officer in hopes of de-escalating mental health or addictions crises and diverting people from local hospitals.

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“Over the years, we have seen a large increase in mental health-related calls for service. The MCRRT program has significantly helped guide and assist our front line officers, leading to less wait times in our hospitals with many successful outcomes,” said Dean Croker, Middlesex OPP detachment inspector.

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“The diversions from our hospitals has provided community members in crisis with immediate assistance and their families receive timely support and referrals without increasing the workload of our local hospitals.”

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones added that the teams are best positioned to respond to crisis situations “that could pose a risk to public safety.”

“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,” Jones said.

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