Ontario's Specialty Mental Health Hospitals Applaud The Ontario Provincial Police's (OPP) Mental Health Strategy

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario's four specialty mental health hospitals support and commend the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on its mental health strategy, "Our People, Our Communities" which was released today. 

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal) and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (Waypoint), have all provided input and support to the OPP during its consultation phase and will sit with other experts on the Community Mental Health Advisory Committee and provide strategic advice and expertise to the OPP on mental health issues.

"We are pleased that this strategy involves community collaboration and addresses not only how police interact with those in mental health crisis but also the mental wellness of its officers and staff," said Karim Mamdani, President and CEO, Ontario Shores.

The OPP has experienced a steady increase in calls for service related to mental health: a 42 per cent increase from 2007-2013 and a 65 per cent increase in the time officers spend at each call.

"This formalized strategy draws on the existing collaboration between the OPP and mental health care partners. The focus on community mobilization and engagement will make these relationships even stronger," said Carol Lambie, Waypoint President and CEO. 

The strategy addresses the need for accurate data on police interactions with people with mental health issues, the need for increased officer training, strong policy and protocols relating to crisis intervention including transfer of care and, the need for collaborative/community mental health response models.

"Police officers, as first responders, are often the professionals who bring people in a mental health crisis to hospital. CAMH strongly supports the development of a Police-Emergency Department Protocol to improve the transfer of care process, with a focus on reducing prejudice and discrimination," said Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO.

The OPP has more than 8,000 employees serving more than 13 million people in 324 municipalities. Encouraging detachments to work with local hospitals and agencies will help address the diverse and specific needs of a community.

"The focus on education and training within the new OPP Mental Health Strategy is important because knowledge is key to protecting one's own mental health and reacting to others in a supportive and understanding way. Giving officers, OPP staff, and their families tools to build their resiliency as well as mental health support will not only benefit individuals but also strengthen the police force as a whole. This combined with enhanced training for officers interacting with members of the community truly embeds mental health into the OPP's principles of policing," said George Weber, President and CEO, The Royal.

The four specialty mental health hospitals provide Ontarians with a range of inpatient and outpatient specialized assessment and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness.  Collectively, they provide leading clinical and recovery-based care, drive mental health innovation, conduct ground-breaking research, develop and deliver effective health promotion and education and provide system leadership and support.

SOURCE Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

For further information: Kate Richards, CAMH Media Relations, 416.535.8501 ext. 36015 or kate.richards@camh.ca; Andrea Marshall, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Ontario Shores, 905.430.4055 ext. 6581 or marshalla@ontarioshores.ca; Karen Monaghan, Communications Manager, The Royal, 613.722.6521 ext. 6449 or Karen.Monaghan@theroyal.ca; Laurene Hilderley, Director of Communications and Fund Development, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, 705.549.3181 ext. 2214 or lhilderley@waypointcentre.ca

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Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

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