Crisis Call Diversion in Police Communication Centres [2021-11-16]

Presenters will share their collaborative experience building the OPP Crisis Call Diversion (CCD) program. CCD began as a pilot program, and has not only continued, but expanded to other regions of the OPP. The program embeds mental health crisis workers within the OPP Provincial Communications Centres to offer an additional layer of support for callers experiencing crisis. Similar to communication operators, crisis workers are set up with their own system within the Provincial Communications Centre. Calls come in to police through a various 911, non-emergent and administrative lines. Where it is identified that a caller is experiencing a situation of acute distress and cannot manage with their usual coping mechanisms, CCD services are offered to the caller and, when accepted, the communications operator is able to ‘conference’ in the crisis worker to carry on the service to support. This service provides opportunity to:

  • offer immediate de-escalation and support to those experiencing a mental health crisis;
  • divert non-emergent police mental health-related calls for service, where alternative services may be more appropriate in low-acuity situation;
  • decrease the volume of non-emergent mental health-related calls for service for the OPP; and • reduce the use police personnel for non-emergent responses when appropriate;
  • help individuals experiencing mental health crises by offering better pathways to meet their needs

The processes of how the calls are addressed, related training, privacy and risk management considerations, data and evaluation, along with the partnership experience through this 24/7 service delivery initiative will be shared in the presentation.


Lori Hassall | CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services

Lisa Longworth | Ontario Provincial Police