OPP And Leamington Hospital Partner On New Mental Health Initiative

Essex County OPP and Leamington District Memorial Hospital (LDMH) are partnering to better serve those with mental health issues in the community.

A Memorandum of Agreement signed today standardizes the approach to transitioning patients with mental health concerns to care at the hospital.

Detachment Commander, Inspector Glenn Miller, says the new plan will prevent off-load delays that saw officers waiting sometimes hours before being able to release someone with a mental health problem to a medical facility.

"We're able to very quickly transition the patients arriving at Leamington District Memorial Hospital and we'll them leave in their good care because they're certainly the experts," says Miller. "Then our officers can immediately be deployed back out into community service."

Chief of Nursing at LDMH Cheryl Deter says the new approach is a long time coming.

"I think it's been needed for a long, long time," says Deter. "Scarcity breeds innovation and when we both look at our resources and what we have... put everything on the table and tried to figure out how we could meet the need."

Deter is hopeful the agreement between the hospital and OPP will be picked up in other areas.

The new initiative doesn't involve any new dollars and uses only existing resources.