As part of Social Services Awareness Week, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is releasing a video on its Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT).
The MCRRT serves as the Sault Police’s mental health crisis response unit. It’s a collaboration between the police and the Sault Area Hospital. The unit consists of a uniformed police officer and a crisis staff member. A registered nurse or social worker is the crisis staff member.
“It’s beneficial to have a crisis service worker along because if the person is in crisis, the crisis worker is trained in skills in de-escalation, supportive measures as well as the ability to refer clients to agencies within the community that would be supportive,” says Eva Torresan, Patient Care Manager at Sault Area Hospital.
Sault Ste Marie Police Constable Mark Virtanen is one of eight officers on the team. He says in the past, an officer would apprehend the person in crisis and bring them to the hospital for an assessment.
“Now, we can do that assessment right in the community and make a determination whether that person needs to go to hospital,” says Virtanen.
By: Mike McDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter