The OPP say that they have made significant strides in implementing their Mental Health Strategy, and have been working to better support officers. The strategy aims to support officers in the line of duty, as well as people in the community in regards to being mentally-well.

“Mental health has long been a priority for the OPP,” said OPP Sergeant Shelley Garr.

“Officer time spent on mental health calls for service is increasing. The number of calls for service is definitely increasing as well. The OPP is taking a comprehensive and integrated approach to these issues.”

Garr notes that officers can also face hardships in the line of duty, and the training has better prepared officers for their own struggles with mental health. Ontario's police association says one in six of their calls deals with mental health. This compares with one in 20 just a few years ago.

“Since the launch of the OPP’s strategy in 2015, we have delivered mental health awareness and resiliency training to over 8,000 OPP members. The aim is to ensure the OPP’s response to mental health is consistent and efficient.”

The OPP’s Mental Health Strategy was originally implemented in December, 2015. The Strategy has two distinct pillars, Supporting Our People and Supporting Our Communities. The first pillar will support the OPP workforce with the necessary education and training in mental health so they can serve to their full capacity.

The second pillar will focus on improving the response of the OPP workforce in crisis situations when they are interacting with people in the community experiencing a mental health crisis.

“The development of OPP’s comprehensive and integrated Mental Health Strategy is encouraging, but there’s still work to do to address the issue of police interactions with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario.

CMHA Ontario encourages police and mental health agencies within communities to collaborate and find effective solutions for improving police interactions with people experiencing mental health conditions.

For more information:
Mental health important for citizens, police

More Local News

Ottawa to help skills training

Ottawa's new training benefit program will offer $2.3 million for workers in the district. Kenora MP Bob Nault made the announcement, after visiting with the prime minister -- as well as the minister…

Developer balks at utility costs

David Luby had a straightforward message for Kenora city council. Unless he got help with water and sewer costs, he couldn't afford to build an 11-unit sub-division. "In past history, the town has…

Rickford 'cleaning up the (hydro) mess'

The provincial government is promising to keep its promise by lowering hydro rates by 12 per cent, as well as limit future rate increases to the rate of inflation. Earlier this week, Energy Minister…

Safe needle disposal tips

Residents are reminded to take extra care, while discarding of used needles this spring. The health unit says you should use gloves or tongs when picking up used needles, and to put them in a hard…

Kenora shop owner faces uncertainty after fire

The owner of Kenora’s Link & Pin, Mark Thompson, is starting to work on the rebuilding process. His storefront was demolished during last weekend’s Main Street fire, along with the remainder of the…

Fire chief, mayor talk decision to demolish

Crews are still cleaning up the rubble left from the demolition of the Lila's block in Kenora, following Sunday's fatal fire on Main Street. Once it was determined the fire wasn't going to go out…

OPP investigating Pikangikum homicide

The OPP is continuing to investigate a homicide in Pikangikum First Nation, 10 years following the death. On March 22, 2009, 33-year-old Judy Ann Quill of Pikangikum was last seen leaving a family…

Council won't be twinning the Rec Centre rink this term

Kenora Council have decided to hold off on plans to twin the rec centre rink. Council directed administration, at their last council meeting, to cease the needs assessment of a twinned ice surface at…

Aerial truck purchase pays off for city, firefighters

It was a tough first test for the City of Kenora’s new $1.2 million aerial firetruck. The vehicle was used on its first fire on Sunday, as emergency responders fought the Main Street fire – which led…

Police target, charge distracted drivers

Police are reminding residents to focus on the roads, not their phones. OPP officers across the North West Region recently completed a distracted driving enforcement blitz, taking place between March…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Login