Friday marks one year since Wellington County OPP and the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington launched IMPACT.
The Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team brought officers and mental health workers together to help those struggling with mental health issues in our community.
The program allows mental health clinicians to join OPP officers on mental health related calls in Wellington County.
Meredith Gardiner with the Canadian Mental Health Association tells 570 News that this has helped officers learn how to better treat these calls.
‘We have been able to reduce the amount of times that police are involved in taking someone to the hospitals for the assessment and really trying to involve the least intrusive care at the appropriate time to have the biggest amount of impact.”
She adds the one of a kind program in the province has helped over a thousand people.
“We have both realized the benefit of this shared partnership and it’s been really an incredible year.”
OPP Detachment Commander Inspector Scott Lawson adds, “The results of this partnership have far exceeded our expectations in the first year of operation…the results truly speak to the benefits that our community have realized through this strategic partnership including our own local police officers, who by working alongside these specially trained clinicians, have a better sense of the complexities and supports necessary to assist those in need.”