SOUTH DUNDAS — The SD&G OPP, the Cornwall Community Hospital and the United Counties of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry continue to provide an innovative partnership with mental health expertise and responsive care, recently hiring an additional nurse for the effort.
Mental health-related calls have been increasing in the region for many years and the severity of the mental health concerns that police encounter are increasingly more complex. The Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) provides early intervention for those who need it. People, not knowing who else to turn to in a mental health crisis, have typically called the police. Previously, police had few options in this type of call.
Local OPP officers have been patrolling with Mental Health Nurse, Don Depratto, from the Cornwall Community Hospital, since September. The Registered Nurse is being funded by the United Counties of SDG.
The MCRT has assisted over 100 people where mental health is a factor since the program was launched, resulting in a reduction in calls for service, better outcome for residents, lower apprehension rate, timely less intrusive intervention, improved access to mental health care. Individuals, family and caregivers regularly provide positive feedback.
Building on that success, the program just added weekend coverage (as of Jan. 30) until Fall 2021 to provide seven days a week coverage, as supported by funding from the Ministry of Health.
Acting Inspector Simon Hardy of the SD&G OPP says, “The MCRT is an excellent example of successfully utilizing cross sector, multi-agency partnerships to build healthier and safer communities. We are extremely pleased with the impact this program has already had and will continue to have for the citizens of SD&G. This is yet another illustration of the positive impacts that building and enhancing meaningful relationships with our partners while promoting alternate service delivery models has upon our communities”.