DATE: December 15, 2016


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OPP and CMHA Mark One Year of I.M.P.A.C.T in Wellington County 

(WELLINGTON COUNTY, ON)  One year ago on December 16, 2015 the County of Wellington Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW) came together to sign a landmark agreement kicking off their new Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team dubbed IMPACT. CMHA and the OPP are marking their first year of this collaborative response model, one of the first of its kind in the province, as an enormous success.

The program funded by the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integrated Network, enables specially trained Mental Health Clinicians to attend mental health-related calls alongside Wellington County OPP officers. The goal of the program is to ensure that residents in Wellington County have better health outcomes by receiving the most appropriate community-based crisis response at the time of need. The enhanced service improves the experience of residents and their families by providing an immediate and comprehensive crisis response in their home and/or community. Residents benefit from less intrusive service interventions by reducing the need for emergency room and hospital involvement.

The IMPACT Team has provided support to over 289 individuals.  This includes live calls for service and “after the fact” referrals. IMPACT workers received more than one referral a day from the Wellington County OPP officers, amounting to 462 total referrals. They have also provided over 70 hours of community-based education and training to stakeholders and care providers in the community. The team has also assisted in providing timely compassion fatigue support services to frontline emergency responders.

“The results of this partnership have far exceeded our expectations in the first year of operation” said OPP Detachment Commander Inspector Scott Lawson. “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” he said. “We are very, very proud of what has been accomplished. IMPACT have become an integral and vital part of our daily work”, remarked Lawson.

“Our first year of service with the IMPACT Team has achieved the goals that we had hoped for.  By having our mental health team work hand in hand with our OPP police team, people who are experiencing significant mental health and addiction challenges are able to get immediate assessment and support where and when they need it.  This has lead to very positive health outcomes for the people involved, and it has also contributed to a significant decrease in the number of presentations to hospital by police.  We are thrilled that our partnership has worked so well for the people who need it most, as well as created more efficiencies in our health care system. Our sincere thanks to all members of our team who work so hard each and every day to meet the needs in our rural community,” says Helen Fishburn, Interim Senior Director of Services 

About the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington

CMHA WW is Canada’s largest CMHA chapter and provides a full care system for those with addictions, mental health or developmental needs. CMHA WW serves everyone from children to adults to seniors, all under one roof. It is also the lead partner in Here 24/7, the single access point to the entire mental health, addictions and crisis sector in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Megan Brady, Communications Specialist
Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington
1-844-264-2993 Ext. 2106/226-979-4578 (cell)

Cst. Cheri Rockefeller
Media Relations Officer, County of Wellington OPP
Phone:   519-846-5930


Cst. Bob Bortolato
Media Relations Officer, County of Wellington OPP
Phone:   519-846-5930