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Quality Improvement

Implementation of the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team: LHIN-Wide Spread of a First Responder Model

Group of police officers and hospital staff

At Health Quality Transformation 2016, Jodi Younger, Clinical Director, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton and Terry McGurk, Regional MCRRT Coordinator, presented their successful implementation of the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT) first responder model, which has now spread across the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) region.

The partnership between Hamilton Police Services and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton was established in 2013 to improve 911 crisis responses. The team piloted more accurate screening for the need for Emergency Department-level (ED) care, along with more efficient and effective hand-over processes to Psychiatric Emergency Service staff by pairing a mental health worker with a uniformed officer for 911 response. MCRRT was successful in reducing the number of individuals with mental illness unnecessarily brought to the ED, diverting them instead to the appropriate community resources, urgent services or crisis beds. It also diverted these individuals from the criminal justice system, providing safe, timely and efficient mental health and crisis management supports.


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Following the success of the pilot, MCRRT was expanded city-wide and in 2015, the HNHB LHIN sponsored the spread of the MCRRT model across the region, including Brantford, Niagara, Norfolk and Halton. Common indicators have demonstrated that the spread was efficient, as existing Police resources were utilized and additional mental health workers were built into the existing crisis service structures. In 2015-2016 over 4,000 individuals across the LHIN were provided MCRRT response with a 73% mean diversion rate.

For more information contact: Jodi Younger or 905 522 1155 ext. 36267

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