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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Regional OPP Continues To Make Mental Health A Priority For Our People And Our Communities

Regional

Staff Sergeant Carolle Dionne, OPP
OPP Continues To Make Mental Health A Priority For Our People And Our Communities

Orillia, ON - Mental Health has long been a priority for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). This week marks the Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health Week with communities across the country supporting mental health initiatives. The OPP is proud to provide ongoing support to its people and communities with its Mental Health Strategy: Our People, Our Communities.

Mental health and wellness go hand in hand, a premise that underlies the OPP Mental Health Strategy. The strategy has two related but distinct components - < em>Supporting Our People: Healthy Workforce and Supporting Our Communities: Police Interactions with People with Mental Health Issues. The OPP has made considerable progress since launching the strategy in December 2015.

"Mental health is an important issue, for everyone. The goal of the strategy is to improve the response to the mental health needs of our people and the individuals in the communities we serve," Commissioner Vince Hawkes said.

Some of the notable achievements over the last two years in Supporting Our People include delivering mental health awareness and resiliency training to more than 8,000 OPP members, expanded formal training to the Auxiliary Program and increased access to the OPP Critical Incident Stress Response Team/Peer Support Program.

Continued progress was made in the established priorities for action during the second year of implementation of Supporting Our Communities. Achievements include increased ref errals to community support services, tools to aid police in communicating more effectively with medical professionals and people experiencing a mental health crisis, over 1,200 OPP members have completed Crisis Intervention Training, and continued training for OPP members in de-escalation techniques.

"Members across the organization continue to embrace this evolving strategy," Commissioner Hawkes said. "We have made significant achievements, but recognize there will always be more work to be done. I am proud of all that has been accomplished in just over two years in support of the important issue of mental health."

OPP Mental Health Strategy Progress Report

Notable achievements in Supporting Our People: Healthy Workforce include:

  • Wellness Unit resources were designed to enhance awareness of and access to wellness programs and services that are available to support OPP members, supervisors, managers, retirees, auxiliaries and families.
  • Delivered Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), a mental health awareness and resiliency program to more than 8,000 OPP members, and expanded formal training to the Auxiliary Program. R2MR is mandatory training for all new employees.
  • Implemented the Total Health Reinvestment (THRIVE) Strategy which recognizes the critical link between mental and physical wellness.
  • Enhanced promotion and incentives of the Fitness Pin Program, encouraging all OPP members to demonstrate their personal commitment to health and fitness.
  • Implemented an Early Intervention Program (EIP) pilot in select regions and bureaus in the fall of 2017. The EIP is a confidential, non-disciplinary, proactive and voluntary wellness tool that may facilitate increased awareness of wellness issues, as well as provide supportive resources to OPP members as they meet the demands of their professional and personal lives.
  • Findings from 2016-17 OPP Wellness Unit and Psychological Health, and Well-being Program 2016-17 Research Baseline indicate that OPP members are using protective factors like family and social supports, optimism and healthy coping strategies to support overall well-being.
  • Enhanced critical incident debriefing and peer-support to ensure services are readily available through increased access to the OPP Critical Incident Stress Response Team/Peer Support Program.
  • Continuing to participate in Not Myself @ Work Today Campaign, a yearly anti-stigma and awareness program to encourage open discussion about mental wellness among all employees.

Advances in Supporting Our Communities: Police Interactions with People with Mental Health Issues include:

  • An increase in early referrals to community support services for those with mental health issues through the use of situation tables that identify persons, families, groups or locations at acutely elevated risk of harm and customize a multi-disciplinary intervention to mitigate those risks.
  • De-escalation training continued to be delivered to frontline members in 2017 as part of the annual in-service training schedule. Frontline members will receive additional de-escalation training in 2018.
  • Frontline members continue to use the interRAI Brief Mental Health Screener (BMHS) © as a tool to help officers communicate more effectively with medical professionals about why a person is being brought to a hospital for psychiatric assessment.
  • Over 1200 OPP members have completed Crisis Intervention Training. Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety training was developed in conjunction with stakeholders, and will be available to members in 2018.
  • Approximately one-third of OPP detachments have a Transfer of Care Protocol with local hospitals and almost half of OPP detachments have a Collaborative Response Model Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed with community stakeholders. The OPP will continue to develop these across the province.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 08 May 2018 11:58:29 AM EST

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