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Police, healthcare workers collaborate to assist people in mental health crises

Representatives of police, mental health, paramedic, and other health care professionals work together to create new transition protocols for people apprehended by police under mental health act
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GREY-BRUCE COUNTIES – As of September 2020, an agreement between hospital partners, OPP and Police Services in Grey-Bruce has been reached regarding new Transition Protocols for individuals apprehended by police under the Mental Health Act. This is a joint agreement detailing improved processes for police, first responders, and health care professionals when they are called upon and required to engage and support individuals experiencing crises in our communities. This initiative has been in progress since May 2020.

It is the product of a collaborative effort by Grey Bruce Police/Hospital/Stakeholder Partnership Committee. Their goal has been to develop a system of protocols tailored to the organizational resources and needs of their community members, ensuring the safety and care for all individuals involved. A list of the community partners includes:

  • Bruce County Paramedic Services
  • Grey Bruce Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Grey Bruce Health Services
  • Grey County Paramedic Services
  • Grey Bruce OPP
  • Hanover and District Hospital
  • Hanover Police Services
  • Owen Sound Police Services
  • Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation Police
  • Saugeen Shores Police
  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre
  • South Bruce OPP
  • West Grey Police Services

The education for the application of these new protocols is currently being conducted virtually for police and health care professionals.

"I am confident that this consistent, cohesive approach to forging a multifaceted partnership will result in improved communication, health and safety for members of our local community," Inspector Krista Miller, Detachment Commander, South Bruce OPP and Co-Chair of Grey Bruce Police/Hospital/Stakeholder Partnership Committee.

There have been very positive reactions and hope for the success of this new partnership, and its ability to help some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Dana Howes, president and CEO of Hanover District Hospital and co-chair of Grey Bruce Police/Hospital/Stakeholder Partnership Committee, describes the partnership as a "phenomenal collaborative leadership effort to develop this regional approach to establishing a comprehensive protocol between police forces and hospitals in the care of patients that have been apprehended under the mental health act."