Evolving social, economic and fiscal realities have created a strain in the treatment of mental illness. As a result of this strain, police services often become the first line of contact between a person in crisis and available resources. Police services have had to adapt to this new reality and find collaborative approaches to resolve these difficult and sometimes violent situations. The emergence of mobile crisis teams, situation tables and better training for front line officers has made an impact for some, but the need for a more integrated strategy still exists. This presentation will focus on the York Regional Police integrated strategy which includes all of the above and additional resources including the digitized Brief Mental Health Screener, two full time social workers, a seniors safety unit which specializes in issues such as dementia and vulnerable persons, and Police/Hospitals Relations Committees, as well as other resources and future plans.
Presenter: S/Sgt Jason McIlveen