New UK Report highlights CMHA’s work on Mental Health and Criminal Justice
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
July 31, 2014
In September 2013, Paula Reid, a researcher from the United Kingdom paid a visit to CMHA Ontario to discuss the intersection of criminal justice and mental health and how to better support individuals with mental health issues who have come into contact with the law.
The result of this work is now published in a report titled “Mental Health and Criminal Justice – What can we learn from liaison and diversion in the USA and Canada?” The report discusses intercepts in the justice system or juncture points similar to the ones found in the CMHA Ontario Adult Criminal Justice and Metal Health Systems Map and outlines different strategies and best practices at each point. Many of these best practices highlight CMHA’s work in promoting a cross-sectoral approach to coordinate supports for individuals with mental health conditions who come into contact with the justice system.
The Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee(HSJCC) Network, a partner of CMHA Ontario, is profiled as a good way to engage in community-problem solving at the local level in order standardise processes and develop common language between sectors who serve vulnerable individuals who have come into contact with the law. The report hopes that the newly proposed ‘Local Crisis Declarations’ as part of the Crisis Concordat in January 2014 will foster similar collaboration across the UK. The report also profiled the Police-Emergency Department protocol used in Hamilton to effectively transfer individuals apprehended under the Mental Health Act into the appropriate services. For more on Police-ED Protocols in Ontario, read the HSJCC Info Guide on this topic. The Info Guide will also be presented at the upcoming CMHA National Conference in October.