Council approves pilot project for 9-1-1 alternative to mental health crises in Ottawa

By CityNews Ottawa staff

An alternative to 9-1-1 for mental health crises is coming to Ottawa.

Ottawa City Council approved a new pilot project on Wednesday afternoon.

The phone line and response team would be an alternative to police responses to mental health calls and people with addiction needs.

There have been calls for a community-led mental health response in Ottawa for years. In 2020, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) said it responded to 6,000 calls each years involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

The three-year pilot project would involve setting up a phone line and response team in select areas across the capital city. It is estimated, this initiative will cost the City of Ottawa roughly $2.5 million.

The City said the project should be in place by July of 2024.




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