What is IMPACT and how does this Team support our Community?

Since 2015, the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW) and the Wellington County OPP have been working together to provide supportive mental health crisis care to those in need. The Integrated Mobile Police And Crisis Team (IMPACT) is an example of what is possible when community partners work together to support our community. This initiative has transformed the way mental health related calls for service are handled at the Guelph Police Service by providing a collaborative, immediate and comprehensive crisis response for individuals and their families.

IMPACT logo showing an abstract illustration of 4 people with their arms extended around each other in a circle, with the word "impact" beside it.

IMPACT is comprised of six full-time and one part-time specially trained Mental Health Clinicians who operate directly out of the Guelph Police Service headquarters located at 15 Wyndham Street South in the City of Guelph, and attend calls for service alongside police officers when requested and available. As of January 10th, 2021, IMPACT will be available seven days a week from 8am until midnight.

This team was formed with the aim of creating a system in which CMHA WW members and police officers could jointly respond to mental health, addiction and crisis related calls for service. The goal of IMPACT is to ensure individuals have better health outcomes by receiving the most appropriate community-based crisis response at the time of need. This has resulted in a more comprehensive level of care through less-intrusive service interventions and reducing the need for emergency room and hospital involvement

IMPACT assists our community in a number of ways:

  • Connecting with individuals to assess needs and coordinate services
  • Providing mobile crisis support
  • Consulting with police about calls
  • Sharing resources for supporting officers after a traumatic call
  • Preparing training sessions and providing resources for police service members
  • Making presentations in the community

During the 2021-2022 fiscal year to date, IMPACT workers have attended 885 live calls with police and completed 332 after-the-fact referrals, serving 1,195 unique individuals. Of these live calls, 653 (73.8%) did not result in a hospital visit. Of the 232 calls resulting in hospital visits, 66 individuals were voluntarily transported and 166 were apprehended under the Mental Health Act.

Since its launch, IMPACT has been incredibly successful and both CMHA WW and the Wellington County OPP look forward to continuing and expanding this important joint venture as it evolves and grows to best fit the needs of our citizens.


** Monthly update