One in five Canadians experience some form of a mental illness in their lifetime. Peel Police respond to about 6,000 mental health-related calls every year. That’s 16 calls every day.

In March 2015, Peel Regional Police collaborated with the Canadian Mental Health Association to introduce the 24.7 Crisis Support Peel Dufferin Program. It’s intended to respond to the growing need for mental health support in Brampton and Mississauga.

The program offers support to residents who are 16 years of age and older and experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis. Individuals are serviced by a team of health professionals and specially-trained plain-clothed police officers, who may arrange a mobile visit, if required. The team conducts mental health assessments to determine the nature of the crisis and come up with a safety plan. Many factors are considered, such as the individual’s existing support system and other programs and services that are available to prevent a future crisis.

The goal is to support individuals in a familiar environment while limiting unnecessary trips to the hospital. Apprehensions under the Mental Health Act are the last resort. In addition, 24.7 Crisis Support Peel Program allows the individuals with mental illness to get the help they need without becoming involved in the criminal justice system.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support, please call the 24.7 Crisis Support Peel Program at 905 -278- 9036. The crisis line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has access to a language interpretation service with more than 160 languages.