Raising awareness about mental health issues is just one of the many priorities for the Durham Regional Police. A Mental Health Unit was created in 2008 to address the needs of those in our community dealing with mental health issues. We have partnered with Durham Mental Health Services and the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences to utilize all areas of expertise to provide the best service possible.
A plain-clothes police officer and a mental health nurse respond to police officers' requests for assistance with situations that require skilled mental health interventions. They are then backed up by support crisis staff.
Our team has worked diligently to diffuse the stigma some feel when coping with mental illness. We’ve partnered with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences to have fun and positive interaction with the patients by facing off in both hockey and baseball games. The community was invited to attend these games and learn more about the difficulties some can face.
A new initiative the Mental Health Support Unit is currently participating in is the Durham Region Hoarding Task Force, which encompasses Police, Fire, EMS, Region Health, Children’s Aid and Housing Providers. The goal is to create a standardized action plan when a hoarding situation is discovered that will bring all appropriate agencies to the table for the best possible response and outcome.
MHSU is committed to attending police calls for service with a Mental Health aspect. MHSU works with the client and their family and friends to refer them to the most appropriate community support (Durham Mental Health Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Pinewood, etc) and attempt to find appropriate alternatives to a Mental Health Apprehension that results in the client being taken to a hospital for an assessment, unless required.
A list of resources available throughout the region can be found by visiting the MHSU unit page or by clicking here.
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World Health Organization information (PDF file, 1,543.2K bytes)