OPP Reminding Community Youth Crisis Response Team is There to Help


Essex County OPP is looking to get the word out about its Youth Crisis Response Team.

While the service was officially launched in April 2020, provincial police are reminding residents about what the team can offer local youth in distress.

Constable Blake Cohoe says the team is comprised of a mental health crisis worker and a uniformed police officer who respond to 911 calls for children under the age of 18 experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis.

"It's so important to have the right experienced mental health worker there so they're receiving the right response. We know today how important it is trying to keep people out of the hospital and healthy and happy in their own home. With this Youth Crisis Response Team we can do that."

He says the pandemic has compounded problems for many.

"People can be provided the right resources in their own home. We know more than ever now kids are having such a struggle with mental health and with COVID and being alone and not being able to participate with their friends. So we wanted to get this message out there."

Cohoe says many youth don't know where to go for help.

"Sometimes people do recognize mental health as deteriorating because people are becoming increasingly aware of what that looks like. When intervention is required to prevent hospitalization, that's where we want to be involved. Youth, sometimes, are reluctant or unable to access mental health services and that's what this is about."

The Youth Crisis Response Team also accepts referrals for non-urgent youth living in Windsor-Essex.

For more information residents can call 519-728-2772 or email oppmhru@hdgh.org.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides