A new Ontario Provincial Police Crisis Call Diversion Program is being rolled out province-wide, including locally.
The program will help police offer the most appropriate response to calls from individuals experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis.
It involves a professional mental health and addictions crisis worker embedded in each of the OPP Provincial Communications Centres.
“The OPP hopes to begin development of the program at the North Bay and Orillia Communications Centres in 2021/22, but the timeline is not set at this point,” says Bill Dickson, OPP spokesperson.
The Crisis Call Diversion Pilot Program began in November 2020 at the OPP Provincial Communications Centre located in London, with support from Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Elgin-Middlesex and neighbouring CMHA Oxford.
In May of 2021, the program was expanded to the OPP Provincial Communications Centre in Thunder Bay, with the support of CMHA Thunder Bay.