Waterloo Regional Police Announce New Crisis Call Diversion Program

Crisis Call Diversion Program

Waterloo Region, Ontario – The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) is proud to announce the implementation of a new Crisis Call Diversion Program (CCD).

In partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW), the program will aim to connect community members experiencing a mental health crisis with appropriate resources and support.

The CCD Program will see a mental health professional (an Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team (IMPACT) member) physically embedded into the WRPS Communications Centre with the goal of diverting appropriate mental health related calls away from a traditional dispatched police response.

Once assigned a call, an IMPACT professional will assist individuals experiencing a mental health crisis by providing tools, resources, and referrals to community agencies, or by assisting them with navigating the mental health care system.

“We are very excited for the launch of the Crisis Call Diversion Program and see this as an enhancement to the way we respond to people in crisis in our community. People who are experiencing a mental health crisis often require a clinical intervention that does not involve police. Diverting calls (when appropriate) from the police, similar to diverting calls from local emergency rooms, is a step in the right direction. This exemplifies the collective commitment in our system, to ensure people get the care they need, when they need it, as well as optimal service delivery,” said Jeffrey Stanlick, Director of Services for the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington.

On average, WRPS officers respond to nearly 2,400 mental health related calls each year.

“We are proud to further build our partnership with our colleagues at the Canadian Mental Health Association. Having mental health professionals available to respond to callers in crisis not only ensures they get the most appropriate care when they need it, it also helps prioritize policing resources for the most serious and emergent situations,” said Acting Chief John Goodman of the Waterloo Regional Police Service.

The CCD program is funded by the Community Safety and Policing Grant and has launched as a three-year pilot program.

For more information about the CMHA and IMPACT, please visit www.cmhaww.ca.

Media Inquiries:
Waterloo Regional Police Service
Public Information Unit
519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8188

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