Executive Council
Health and Community Services
Justice and Public Safety

April 19, 2018

New Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams in St. John’s and Labrador West

The Provincial Government along with health authorities and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary are introducing a new policing model to respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis. Mobile crisis intervention teams have been established in St. John’s and Labrador West. The new policing model, called the Memphis model, involves a mental health worker and a police officer working together in the community.

To get the teams ready, mental health training was provided over the last several months to law enforcement officers throughout the province. Training is now complete. In addition to the teams in St. John’s and Labrador City, the west coast and central region of the island are expected to have the Memphis model in place by the end of 2018.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Eastern Health worked together to bring the Memphis model to St. John’s and its surrounding areas. The team is available 14 hours a day from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The mobile crisis intervention team and the use of the Memphis model in Labrador City has been set-up by Labrador-Grenfell Health and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. The team is available eight hours a day from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Both teams can be reached by calling 911, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary or the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668. The Mental Health Crisis Line is free and confidential.

Budget 2018 - Building for Our Future provides $1.7 million to recruit more mental health nurses and social workers required for these teams and to set them up in all parts of the province. The Provincial Government continues to change the way services are delivered through implementation of Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We continue to support the changing face of mental health and addictions services in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. These mobile crisis intervention teams are another step forward in breaking stigmas, encouraging people to seek support and improve access to services.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Mental health is not defined by geography. Introducing these teams will provide sensitive care to people in crisis. It is important to ensure access to these services wherever people live in the province.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“Combining the strengths and expertise of health care workers and police will help save lives. By working together on crisis calls, the system will become more sensitive to the challenges faced by those in crisis and help reduce stigma in the community.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety

“The Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit will provide persons in crisis and their families the appropriate resources to assess their needs and deliver effective healthcare solutions. Mental health is a health issue, and by removing a uniformed police presence during a non-violent mental health crisis, we’re able to better serve our communities’ needs in an un-invasive and professional manner while ensuring public safety.”
Joseph Boland
Chief of Police

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Learn more

Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/mentalhealth/pdf/mentalhealth_addictions_plan.pdf

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL , @HCS_GovNL and @JPS_GovNL

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier

Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292

Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910

Cst. Geoffrey Higdon
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

2018 04 19                                                   12:00 p.m.