Today, Toronto City Council received a six-month evaluation report on the implementation and operations of the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) pilots. The third-party report confirmed the pilots have successfully diverted 78 per cent of mental health crisis calls received by 911 with no police involvement.
TCCS is a new, alternative model of crisis response for Toronto residents that launched in early 2022. It provides a community-led solution to respond to mental health crisis calls and wellness checks.
Mid-year program data continues to demonstrate that the TCCS is successfully diverting the majority of persons in crisis calls from police response to a community-based response. For the majority of cases, mobile teams did not identify a need to involve other emergency services.
TCCS operates in four areas of the city. The implementation has taken a phased approach to ensure service delivery is efficient, consistent and reliable. This approach has also ensured that each pilot can adapt to local service conditions and emerging partnership opportunities within the community.
The report shared today was completed by third-party evaluator Provincial System Support Program and Shkaabe Makwa with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The evaluation provides program data and analysis from the pilots’ first six months from March 31 to September 30, 2022.
Key TCCS program data includes:
The pilots’ performance, impact and data at the six-month mark continues to demonstrate that this new emergency service is succeeding in advancing key outcomes. The City will continue to support pilot implementation with a focus on ongoing oversight and consistent service delivery across pilot areas.
The City’s tabled 2023 operating budget includes a 25 per cent increase for TCCS to support enhanced service delivery and strengthened dispatch processes and includes additional investments for the City to provide backbone support to the pilots.
This funding – the maximum amount required at this time – will allow City staff to responsibly begin scaling the TCCS, ensuring needs can continue to be met in coordination with local partners.
A comprehensive evaluation report on TCCS will be brought to Council in fall 2023. In the meantime, staff continue to collect data over the course of the pilot phase and use emerging data from the evaluation to inform service delivery adjustments to ensure operational efficiency and service excellence, and to pave the way for full implementation.
TCCS is one of SafeTO’s priority actions focused on reducing vulnerability in Toronto through proactive mental health support strategies and community-based crisis support models.
A high-level summary of the key program data can be found in this infographic.
The full Six-Month Implementation Evaluation Report can be found on the City’s website.
“I am heartened at the preliminary success we are seeing in this evaluation report and commend the community anchor partners and City staff on their work thus far. Toronto Community Crisis Service is a landmark initiative, and these results show how valuable taking a holistic approach to community safety and well-being is. This success shows how we are making great strides in supporting people in mental health crisis and ensuring there are community-based supports available to people. We launched this service to help people, to help our police service and all frontline City services that often were the only ones available to respond to someone in a mental health crisis, and to help communities. I continue to call on the provincial and federal governments to make more long-term sustainable investments into mental health care.”
– Mayor John Tory
“TAIBU and our collaborative partners are satisfied with the six-month evaluation report of the Toronto Community Crisis Response pilots’. Not only are we receiving the right type of calls but most importantly, to see how members of the community are positively engaging and responding to the service has been rewarding for our excellent and professional staff. This is a successful and strong foundation to build as we progress into the coming years and demonstrate that non-police, community led crisis response is ‘The Way’ forward.”
– Liben Gebremikael, CEO, TAIBU Community Health Centre
“Gerstein Crisis Centre is encouraged to see greater access to and improved capacity of community-based crisis services. Building a stronger foundation of purpose-built crisis responses means people can get the right supports when they need them no matter where they reach out for help. Informed and compassionate care that connects people to the services they need is what communities have advocated for and this initiative is a great beginning toward making positive change.”
– Susan Davis, Executive Director, Gerstein Crisis Centre
“After six months of piloting a community-led, healthcare-based response to mental health crises, we’ve learned it’s effective at not only providing quality and safe care to those in need, but also contributes to reducing the over policing of racialized and other equity seeking communities. While there is much more work to do, we’ve established that community-led care is the right response to supporting those experiencing a mental health crisis. CMHA Toronto is committed to working with our partners to continue fostering a sense of safety and trust among our community to access the support they need, when they need it.”
– Michael Anhorn, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch
“Since the 2-Spirits pilot launch in July, we have been in operation 24/7 in order to fulfill communities ask in developing a trauma informed, community led, Indigenous wholistic approach to mental health crisis response. Reflecting on the journey of the first six months of the pilot, we are proud and honoured to be a part of this work, however we continue to push for more access, resources and supports for community. The launch of this pilot demonstrates the first steps towards self-determination. The report highlights data and information that aligns with our agency’s definition of success; to build relationships, capacity and to ensure that community is at the centre of our approach.”
– Keith McCrady, Executive Director, 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations
“Findhelp 211 is so grateful to be part of this progressive and high impact collaboration, connecting Torontonians to mental health support when and how they need it. Congratulations to all partners for your passion and commitment to this vital support!”
– Sue Wilkinson, Executive Director, Findhelp 211
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