The Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) is a new, alternate approach to responding to someone in crisis that focuses on health, prevention and well-being. The service provides an alternative to police enforcement, creating a community-based, client centred, trauma-informed response to non-emergency crisis calls and wellness checks.
This service aims to respond to the needs and desires of the communities most impacted by policing and establish trust and confidence in a new community-based response model.
The service is available six days a week and closed on Saturdays, and serves individuals 16 years of age and older.
The Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) is part of the City of Toronto’s commitment to treat mental health crises as a public health problem, not a public safety issue. The TCCS is a community-based service with multidisciplinary teams of crisis workers who will respond to non-emergency calls from people in crisis and requests for wellbeing checks.
TCCS is one of the key priority actions under SafeTO, Toronto’s 10 Year Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan.
In February 2021, Toronto City Council unanimously approved four community crisis support service pilots that will test a new, non-police led approach to non-emergency, non-violent calls, including those involving persons in crisis and wellness checks.
Our approach involved an intensive period of community engagement and research. It prioritized the communities that are most impacted by over-policing and that have lived-experience of the mental health, substance use, and justice system. From October to December 2020 the City:
The TCCS team provides crisis services in response to non-emergency mental health crisis calls and wellbeing checks.
Individuals aged 16 years and older can access the TCCS by calling 211 or 911. Multidisciplinary crisis teams will respond to calls received based on the call type, location, and availability of teams.
Beyond the Toronto Community Crisis Service pilots, there are other supports available for people experiencing a mental health crisis and looking to connect with someone. Gerstein Crisis Centre offers crisis services 24/7 and can be reached by calling 416-929-5200.
TCCS was designed to serve individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis and to connect them to the supports they need. It has intentionally prioritized communities that are impacted by over-policing and that have lived-experience of mental health issues and substance use.
TCCS has launched in four intentional areas of Toronto, offering a health focused response to those in crisis or to those seeking resources to support someone in crisis. The initial pilot communities were selected based on areas where the demonstrated need and calls for people in crisis are the highest in Toronto. Below are the pilot areas, which you can also view on TCCS Pilot Areas map.
TAIBU is at the forefront of the delivery of community health and social services to Black communities across the Greater Toronto Area. Grounded in an Afrocentric model of Black health and wellbeing TAIBU will offer comprehensive access to services and supports through its network of partners.
for more than 30 years Gerstein Crisis Centre has offered 24 hour crisis services for individuals 16+ living in the City of Toronto who are living with mental health, concurrent or serious substance use issues. Gerstein Crisis Centre brings decades of experience in providing strengths-based, non-medical, trauma informed service.
2-Spirits will provide service centred on Indigenous philosophies of holistic health and wellness. Their approach places individuals at the centre of the medicine wheel. Service will be delivered in partnership with ENAGB Indigenous Youth Agency and Niiwin Wendaanimak / Four Winds Indigenous Health and Wellness Program, based out of Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre. The Downtown West Pilot has been given the traditional name Kamaamwizme wii Naagidiwendiiying which means coming together to heal/look after/take care of each other.
CMHA provides community-based support services that help people who are living with mental illness or mental health problems improve the quality of their lives in accordance with their defined needs. CMHA will bring an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and culturally safe approach to this work along with their collaboration with eight local organizations (Addiction Services of Central Ontario, Black Creek Community Health Centre, Black Health Alliance, CAFCAN, Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre, Rexdale Community Health Centre and Yorktown Family Services).
The Toronto branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association is currently recruiting for the following positions to help support this pilot:
As the Toronto Community Crisis Service’s intake and dispatch partner Findhelp | 211 Central will triage and dispatch appropriate calls to the mobile teams. Findhelp has been connecting people to the support they need through multi-lingual 211 services, specialty lines, websites and social media for over 60 years. With more than 250,000 contacts annually, and more than 60,000 agencies and programs maintained in their provincial database, they are one of the most experienced centres in North America.