St. Thomas police are not therapists nor psychiatrists, but when a mental health-related crisis erupts, they’re often the ones that get the first call.
When police respond to a call where mental health issues are a factor, they carefully assess the situation and call in help from other agencies like CMHA St. Thomas-Elgin when necessary.
“If we’re engaging with the same people over and over again, we will take the case to our Situation Table. We have a whole bunch of community partners and we’ll discuss what is happening with this person, what we’re seeing and what community agencies can engage and help that person,” said Pinnell.
Members of the Situation Table have a number of resources they can leverage. In CMHA Elgin alone, there are services including case management, court support, subsidized housing for adults with mental health issues, social and vocational rehabilitation, early intervention programs for psychosis and a 24 hour crisis hotline that’s open to everyone.