Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team increases after successful pilot program

(Niagara, March 1, 2017) – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Niagara and the Niagara Regional Police Service are expanding the services of the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT) following the success of the program to date helping individuals in crisis.

As of March 1, the MCRRT will work 12-hour shifts Noon until Midnight daily in St. Catharines and Thorold, up from seven-hour shifts. Through expanded Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) funding, CMHA Niagara can now hire an additional full-time mobile mental health crisis worker.

This expansion to the MCRRT – a first response unit service that includes a mental health worker riding alongside an officer – was essential given the impact of the program to date. The program surpassed its annual targets in just nine months by helping 417 people with mental health issues. The annual target was 290. The MCRRT has been able to divert 70 percent of those 417 people from the hospital.

“The Niagara Regional Police Service appreciates the work of the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team in assisting with mental health related calls for service. This partnership has proven to be invaluable and has increased our ability to better understand and respond to members of our community who are in crisis in the most suitable manner possible.” said Deputy Chief MacCulloch.

“The results of the program speak for themselves,” said George Kurzawa, Executive Director of CMHA Niagara. “Any time we can assist first responders by de-escalating a potentially harmful situation and getting people the most appropriate care, it makes our community a better place.”

CMHA Niagara is providing a 10-hour mental health educational session to all Niagara Regional Police crisis intervention trained officers interested in becoming MCRRT officers. In addition, all police officers will receive a one-hour session part of their eight-hour annual training this year courtesy of the branch.

The Niagara Falls Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services have also made requests for training from the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team.

The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) funds the program.



For more information, contact:

Kelly Falconer
Program Manager
Canadian Mental Health Association, Niagara Branch
Tel: 905-641-5222 ext. 2223

Inspector Cindy White
#1 District Commander
Niagara Regional Police Service
Tel: 905-688-4111 ext. 4412