A plan to establish a 24/7 mental health emergency dispatch line and mobile crisis response team has been approved by Ottawa’s city council.
According to a memo from the city, the emergency service will start in about a year.
It is anticipated that the $2.5 million cost of the strategy that was approved today will emphasize that the team would be trauma informed and culturally appropriate.
After Toronto, Ottawa is the second major city in Canada to establish a municipal mental-health emergency service, which would replace the police in situations involving mental health and substance use issues.
When it established the Toronto Community Crisis Service in 2022 as a three-year pilot project, Canada’s most populous and diverse city served as a pioneer for the concept.
Its occupants can call 2-1-1 or 9-1-1 to dispatch local area and social assistance experts rather than police.