New program: Mobile Crisis Response Team

Press Release

Hawkesbury and Russell OPP and HGH Launch a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT)

HAWKESBURY, ON – The Hawkesbury Detachment as well as the Russell Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have joined the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) to offer a new crisis response service through an innovative partnership. The goal of the new Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) is to provide early intervention and options for people in the midst of a mental health-related crisis.

People experiencing a crisis often call 9-1-1 for assistance. When a mental health-related call comes in, an OPP officer and an experienced mental health professional team up to provide the person in crisis, their families and caregivers with immediate and appropriate care. Crisis may relate to psychosocial acute situations such as loss of shelter or basic needs, risk of self-harm or to others or intoxication. The MCRT approach will lead to timely and preventive interventions as well as a reduction in traumatic mental health apprehensions.

Three days a week since February 2021, Provincial Constable Mario Gratton has been patrolling the Hawkesbury area and surroundings with Mental Health Counsellor Frantz Neveu from HGH. With advanced mental health training and experience, Counsellor Frantz Neveu can screen for serious mental health situations or substance abuse; complete a mental health assessment; advocate for client care with various partners in the community, as well as assist people needing emergency hospitalization. He can also assess for risk of suicide and provide health information for family members and caregivers. Constable Gratton assists in ensuring a secure environment to provide care as well as in an emergency hospitalization situation.

As of July 5, 2021, another MCRT team will be deployed in the Russell Region three days a week to ensure all of the Prescott-Russell counties may benefit from this program. The Russell team will be comprised of Provincial Constable Melissa Bouchard and Mental Health Counsellor Bruce Denis from HGH.

Mental health-related calls are on the rise in Prescott and Russell and the Hawkesbury OPP is encountering more issues that are complex. The numbers of calls went from 121 in 2018, to 176 in 2019, and 194 in 2020. Only six months into 2021, the Hawkesbury detachment was called 110 times to assist with mental health issues.

Statement by Dr. Julie Maranda, HGH Chief of Staff
“This new partnership will provide persons facing difficult circumstances, personalized and adapted care in a private and secure environment. By working with the OPP, we’re focusing on the client’s need and offering access to the right care, at the right time in the right place.”

Statement by Inspector Chris McGillis, Hawkesbury OPP Detachment Commander
“The collaboration between the OPP and the Hawkesbury General Hospital will greatly enhance the access to vital services for clients in critical need of care, as well as, increasing efficiencies in providing these Services.”


Media Contact

Édith Jean-Louis
Community Relations Coordinator
Hawkesbury and District General Hospital
Telephone: 613-632-1111, ext. 61005

Provincial Constable Kenneth (Ken) Gray
Community Safety/Media Relations Officer
613-632-2729 (office)
613-678-0294 (cell)