Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Oxford is proud to announce the Mental Health Engagement and Response Team (MHEART) program is a recipient of a Victim Assistance Services of Oxford County’s (VASOC) Power of Collaboration award. This award was presented to CMHA Oxford, Oxford County OPP, and Woodstock Police Services on Thursday, May 30 at VASOC’s “Power of Collaboration” Award Ceremony, an event raising awareness during Victims and Survivors of Crime Week.
The award for MHEART was an additional award because of the program exemplifying collaboration. MHEART only exists because of the collaborative efforts between CMHA Oxford, Oxford County OPP, and Woodstock Police Services.
“We are thrilled with the success of the MHEART Program so far and the benefit it provides to our community,” says Lynn Wardell, Interim Executive Director at CMHA Oxford. “Working collaboratively with Oxford County OPP and Woodstock Police Services has been an amazing experience, our Mental Health and Addictions Clinicians love working directly with our policing partners. We also enjoy a close working relationship with Victim Assistance Services of Oxford County and truly appreciate their recognition of this collaborative program and look forward to continued work with them in the future.”
The MHEART program launched in September 2018 and pairs on-duty police officers with a Crisis and Outreach Clinician from CMHA Oxford to respond to police calls when mental health or addictions could be a factor. Since the launch in September 2018, the program has provided over 500 connections, made over 400 referrals to community services, and reduced the number of people being taken to the hospital by police to receive mental health support.