WHEREAS it is recognized that there have been no increases in provincial funding to community based services since 1992 for those suffering from mental illness; and
WHEREAS the inadequate funding of community mental health services has resulted in vulnerable individuals being at risk of increased contact with the police and increased involvement in the criminal justice system. This contact has resulted in the criminalization of behaviors associated to mental illness. We believe that this is an inherently flawed approach to the treatment of individuals with mental illness; and
WHEREAS the process of de-institutionalization is expected to continue for the near future; and
WHEREAS it is currently not known if the results of the London Police study are generalizable to other jurisdictions.
BE IT RESOLVED that the OACP make representation to the Ministry of Health outlining the inappropriateness of the enmeshing of the criminal justice system, and particularly police services, with health issues. In order to assess and monitor the ongoing impact that de-institutionalization has on Ontario policing services, the OACP identify four additional indicator communities representing different jurisdictions within the Province of Ontario to conduct a replication study. The purpose of this study will be to: ? Track the trend of interaction between individuals with mental illness and the police in the Province of Ontario; ? Monitor the resource impacts of de-institutionalization on policing services in Ontario.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the OACP approach the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and the Policing Services Division to identify funding sources for the initial costs and the ongoing monitoring costs of this project.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ontario Police College, in collaboration with an OACP working committee, develop standardized, stand-alone, in-service officer training which focuses on behavioral change and increased officer knowledge. The topics of this training could include: ? Causes and symptoms of major mental illness; ? De-escalation techniques; ? Pre- and post-charge diversion options; ? Community supports. The OACP working committee would ideally be composed of representatives from each of the following: ? Canadian Mental Health Association ? Schedule One hospital ? Crisis response service ? Psychiatrist ? Psychologist ? Mental health researcher ? Psychiatric nurse ? Consumer/survivor ? Family member ? OACP delegate
WHEREAS the London Police Services research demonstrated an officer tendency to identify individuals with mental illness using a violent caution flag despite the findings that there was a reduction in violent offences.
BE IT RESOLVED that a standardized flagging system be developed that permits officers to differentiate between violent and erratic behaviour. This system could be based on the data collected by Toronto Police Service (Emotionally Disturbed Persons Form) and should not exceed four options.
WHEREAS the research in London has shown that deinstitutionalization of mental health services has cost the London Police Service between $1.5 and $3.7 million and that this impact has been borne at the expense of the municipality and that these costs are expected to be representative of the impact of de-institutionalization on police services and municipalities across Ontario; and
WHEREAS these policing costs confirm the lack of community funding for an appropriate health service response to the needs of individuals with mental illness.
BE IT RESOLVED that the OACP address this inappropriate downloading of service and associated costs with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Public Safety and Security. Adopted at the OACP Annual General Meeting, Wednesday June 18, 2003.