Toronto, July 11, 2011: The Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (OFCMHAP) would like to congratulate the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) for passing a resolution that pushes for better services for mental health and addictions. The resolution calls on the provincial government to implement a policy that focuses on social assistance, rather than reliance on the justice system to help people with mental health and addiction issues.
Ontario police chiefs expressed the need to increase services for mental health and addictions, because of the growing number of people with mental health and addictions issues getting into trouble with the law. Ontario police forces have spent a significant amount of time and resources dealing with people that have mental health and addictions issues. These addictions and mental health challenges are better addressed by health and social services than through criminal processes.
OACP is urging that an increase in resources for additional services and supports is the key to reducing the number of people with mental health and addictions issues coming into contact with the law. Health care workers, not police officers, OCAP argues, should be addressing the needs of people with mental health and addictions issues. OACP identifies the increase in social supports and services as a crime prevention strategy, ensuring that people receive the help that need to before resorting to the justice system. OACPs recognition that mental health and addiction services require more support is significant. By pushing for policy change to increase social services, people with mental health and addictions issues will have the opportunity to receive care rather than going through the justice system.
“Addiction and mental health providers are ready and willing to collaborate with police forces to help address this crucial public health issue” says David Kelly, Executive Director of OFCMHAP. “Together, we can make a difference for people who need help, not incarceration!”
OFCMHAP brings together community mental health and addiction services in the province of Ontario to help members provide effective, high-quality services through information sharing, education, advocacy and unified effort
To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact:
Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs
Work: (416) 490-8900
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