On January 2020, the Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Fort Frances Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) launched a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) in the Town of Fort Frances and surrounding area.
“MCRT” refers to a team consisting of police and a health partner who respond collaboratively to support individuals experiencing crisis as a result of mental health or addictions issues. In the Rainy River District Detachment MCRT model, a Crisis Worker is embedded with the police to respond to crisis calls as a team and conduct any required follow-up. This team-oriented approach provides persons in crisis, their families and caregivers with timely and appropriate crisis intervention in cases that require a police response, by proactively involving a mental health professional to attend and provide support on scene.
On October 12, 2021 the Rainy River District Detachment’s MCRT Team and capacity will be expanded with the hiring of an additional Crisis Worker in Atikokan.
“The Rainy River District Detachment is thrilled about our continued partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association and the expansion of our Mobile Crisis Response Team, which will enhance our capacity to leverage the experience of trained mental health and addictions professionals when responding to persons in mental health and addictions crises and reinforces our continued commitment to overall public safety District-wide,” said Inspector Shaun Crabbe, Commander – Rainy River District Detachment, Ontario Provincial Police.
“We are excited to expand this partnership between the Canadian Mental Health Association Fort Frances Branch and the Rainy River District Ontario Provincial Police. Together we will continue to offer collaborative responses to individuals in mental health & addictions crises that are client-centred and recovery-oriented throughout the Rainy River District while keeping our communities safe and reducing the rates of recidivism and hospitalization,” said Charlene Strain, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association Fort Frances Branch.
Due to the positive response and outcomes from existing teams, the provincial government is encouraging and providing funding for continued development of MCRTs. There is currently a provincial working group that the OPP co-chairs to develop a Mobile Crisis Response Team Framework and Toolkit for Ontario that will assist communities to develop teams with core components and common approaches to service delivery.
The Rainy River District OPP is proud to be a part of this pro-active relationship with the Canadian Mental Health Association and is looking ahead to build on their successes from the past year.