Mental Health & Community Partnerships

Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT)

MCRT is a partnership between Barrie Police and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

The Barrie Police Service and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) are proud to announce the launch of a joint Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) in the city of Barrie.

Barrie Police Service Constable Guy Peters will join Nicole Barbour, an RVH Crisis Worker in responding to 911 calls for mental health concerns and addictions as well as persons in crisis. Currently the team is working in a six-month pilot project that began on Monday, July 25, 2022.

“The Barrie Police Service is excited to be a part of this new partnership with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, that will help us better assist persons in crisis in our community,” says Barrie Police Service Deputy Chief Wyllie Allan. “The unique partnership of the MCRT will allow for a front-line, client-focused approach that can provide the resources and response that are needed.”

The introduction of the MCRT will reduce the need for frontline officers to respond to mental health calls for service, and more specifically, those calls for a person in crisis requiring immediate assistance. This MCRT brings with them years of enhanced training, acute care experience and risk assessment abilities as well as existing contacts with emergency department physicians and psychiatrists that will prove invaluable when working with members of the community experiencing a mental health crisis.

“By pairing an RVH Crisis Worker with an experienced police officer, this team aims to reduce or eliminate the need for additional assessment at our Emergency department. The MCRT will connect individuals in crisis with alternative and more appropriate community supports,” says Carrie Stoner, Interim Manager, Integrated Crisis Services, RVH. “We anticipate the MCRT will help prevent future calls for service from persons in crisis to both patrol and paramedics and will assist the individuals navigate through a complex and often confusing mental healthcare system.”

Cst. Guy Peters has worked in a variety of roles within the Barrie Police, most recently as a member of the Crisis Outreach And Support Team (COAST). An officer with Barrie Police Service since 2010, Cst. Peters has developed an extensive knowledge of various programs and community resources available, making him an invaluable resource for members of the community and fellow officers. Cst. Peters is passionate member of the Service and is committed to establishing meaningful relationships with our community partners and helping those individuals experiencing mental illness and who are in crisis

Nicole Barbour has been an integral part of the RVH Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) since August 2019. In addition to being an experienced and well-respected member of the Crisis team in RVH’s Emergency department, she brings years of experience from the community in both children’s and adult mental health, seniors health, system navigation, home and community care and Collaborate Barrie.

The development of an MCRT has been in development since November 2021. This MCRT pilot project continues to re-establish a collaborative partnership between the Barrie Police Service and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre with the shared goals of minimizing police and hospital interactions through enhanced de-escalation, crisis assessment as well as intervention and triage options for follow up supports.

Crisis Outreach And Support Team

The Barrie Police Service has had a Crisis Outreach And Support Team working in Barrie since January 2019. Prior to January 2019, our Service had held several successful pilot projects.

The COAST focuses on extending crisis intervention for citizens of Barrie suffering from mental illness and/or emotional disturbances who are unable or reluctant to utilize existing emergency services.

While a large number of our sworn members have taken part in Crisis Intervention Training, the partnership of a non-uniformed police officer, as well as a Canadian Mental Health Association worker allows for the best and most appropriate response to be offered to those experiencing a mental health crisis.

The COAST teams have varied and rotating hours of operation – responding to community needs and 911 mental health calls for service, including follow-ups, intervention, and connection to needed ongoing supports and services of COAST.

In 2019, the Barrie Police Service COAST attended more than 100 live calls for service and completed more than 200 follow up visits.

Mental Health Resources

Recognizing signs of mental health struggles in yourself and others can be difficult. Different people may have different ways of coping with their mental health challenges. If you or someone you know is acting out of character and you have concerns, please reach out to available resources.

Collaborate Barrie

Collaborate Barrie is a multi-agency intervention (Situation Table) focusing on addressing the onset and potential escalation of criminal and antisocial behaviour through a twice weekly, multi-sectoral discussion. It identifies individuals, or families, experiencing “acutely elevated risk” behaviour, and gives the agencies present at the table the ability and collaborative responsibility to intervene before the risk escalates.

Collaborate Barrie is not a service delivery agency or mechanism, but rather a way of utilizing and mobilizing existing systems and resources in a coordinated and collaborative way.

Collaborate Barrie Partners

A community partnership representing key sectors in the human services system of Barrie that have come together with a common passion and goal of responding collaboratively to the needs of those in high risk or crisis situations.

Collaborate Barrie currently has 21 primary members at the Situation Table each week including:

  • Barrie Police Services
  • Barrie Community Health Team and MVP Clinic
  • Barrie Native Friendship Centre
  • Barrie OPP
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Catulpa Community Supports
  • David Busby Centre
  • Huronia West OPP
  • Kinark Child and Family Services
  • Nottawasaga OPP
  • Ontario Works
  • Paramedic Services Simcoe County
  • Probation (Adult and Youth)
  • Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
  • Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions
  • Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie
  • YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka
  • Youth Haven

Additional community agencies have been identified as critical to the success of Collaborate Barrie, based on their involvement in situations of risk and their ability to provide services and supports.

The “Situation Table”

The Situation Table is one component of Collaborate Barrie. The Situation Table is a discussion. Twice a week, participants from partner agencies meet at the Situation Table to collaboratively identify and plan responses to situations of acutely elevated risk. These meetings enable service providers to work together efficiently and effectively – connecting those at risk with the supports that can help. The first Table discussion took place on June 9, 2015.

The importance of early interventions

Once a situation has been identified as an acutely elevated risk, it is imperative to respond within 24 – 48 hours to lower the risk to manageable levels and intervene while a situation is still a potential risk rather than once an actual incident has occurred.

How partner agencies share information

In Ontario, a multi-sector Ontario Working Group conducted a lengthy study on existing policies. The widely adopted Four Filter process, used in these Situation Table models, has been reviewed by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) and it has been found that this approach stands up to the highest levels of scrutiny. It ensures that ONLY situations of acutely elevated risk are discussed, that MINIMAL identifying personal information is disclosed, and then only to those agencies DIRECTLY involved in an active service delivery role.

How Collaborate Barrie serves the Community

Collaborative responses across multi-sectors quickly connect individuals and families with appropriate services. Responses are risk-driven and occur within 24 – 48 hours.
Rates of crime and victimization, ED visits and calls to Emergency Services and school truancy rates have all been lowered in other areas using this model.

Collaborate Barrie logo, it says 'Collaborate Barrie, Partners for a safer community)


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