A few weeks ago we were pleased to present a webinar for Niagara Connects related to Crisis Services in Niagara. Ernie Jodoin (consultant), Lindsay Galipeau (mobile crisis team member), and myself described the vision, evolution and practical application of a community effort to strengthen services for our fellow citizens who suffer from mental illness.  You can find the archived webinar on the Niagara Knowledge Exchange http://bit.ly/1HUUCaI.

The key message from our webinar is that collective vision will bring about real change.  The Niagara Mental Health and Addictions Charter http://bit.ly/1NMm1Yy  is that collective vision that has been instrumental in bettering the lives of all Niagara citizens. In 2010 when Niagara Connects gathered opinions from over 2000 Niagara citizens and 50 organizations, there was an understanding that we were on the cusp of important changes in delivering mental health and addiction services in the region.  The newest Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team is just one example of progress. The results are palpable. In only three months we have served 181 individuals, diverting 117 from expensive hospital services into more appropriate and cost effective community supports.  Our newest service alleviates unnecessary hospital emergency visits and frees resources for other medical needs. This is valuable for the entire community, not just those who are suffering from mental health or addictions crisis…..and it’s all thanks to our collective vision in Niagara.