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Toronto Police Service Mental Health and Addictions Strategy released

Broadcast time: 10:45
Monday, October 7, 2019

Corporate Communications

The Toronto Police Service released its Mental Health and Addictions Strategy at the Toronto Police Headquarters on Monday, October 7, 2019.

The Strategy outlines the commitment of the Toronto Police Service to preserving the health and safety of both members of our community, and members of the Service who may experience mental health and addictions issues.

The Strategy was developed in consultation with the Toronto Police Services Board and its former Mental Health Sub-Committee and Mental Health External Advisory Committee.

"We are very fortunate to have had tremendous support and expert advice available to us in developing our strategy. Our new Mental Health and Addictions Strategy outlines eight commitments and accompanying action items to guide us in implementing the strategy and ensuring we are informed, as a Service, about how to best recognize and respond to those in crisis," said Chief Saunders.

Acting Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board member Uppala Chandsekera said:

“Today the Toronto Police Service made a great commitment to supporting the residents of our city who live with mental health and addictions issues. This Strategy, which was developed over the past few years in consultation with the Toronto Police Services Board and its former Mental Health Sub-Committee, consists of concrete action items for enhancing police services. Through this Strategy, we are also making an ongoing commitment to the Members of our Service, both sworn and civilian, to enhancing and promoting mental health and wellness in the workplace. Congratulations to Chief Saunders and the Toronto Police Service on this important achievement.”

Empowerment Council Executive Director Jennifer said:

"This Strategy is a designed to preserve the lives and well-being of people in crisis in Toronto. It is a pathway, it is not an end result, and it will require commitment to follow the path set out and continue to set higher goals. This TPS Strategy requires that people in crisis be understood and appreciated as members of Toronto' s diverse community, be treated equitably, and that de-escalation is the priority when relating to people in crisis . The transparency and accountability called for in this document means that anyone in Toronto who cares can evaluate it's progress."

Former Board’s Mental Health External Advisory Committee Co-Chair Hamlin Grange:

"This Strategy rightly recognizes the reality that mental health issues are not merely the behaviour of individuals, but how individuals engage with society and the impact society may be having on those individuals. By including data collection, analysis and an annual public report, this Strategy will allow for greater accountability and transparency. I am encouraged that the Service acknowledges the interconnected nature of mental health and the social determinants of health. It is clear from this Strategy that the Service wants to create and maintain a learning environment on mental health by expanding the skill sets of all Members in order to respond effectively and compassionately to the changing needs of an increasingly diverse city."

Read the Mental Health & Addictions Strategy

Kevin Masterman, Corporate Communications, for Inspector Chris Boddy, 11 Division