Our 4 CAPs
Mental Health and Addictions CAP
Ensuring that all voices are heard
The Mental Health and Addictions CAP provides a consumer perspective to St. Michael's Hospital on matters related to the mental health continuum of care. With its community partners, the CAP advocates for change, including:
- mental health reform
- better income support
- improved dental care
Since 1992, the Mental Health and Addictions CAP has worked on behalf of hundreds of consumer/survivors from downtown Toronto on ways to improve mental health services, from the full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient care to social supports and community lunches.
"Having someone take the time to sit there and have the police officer stand back... can help people identify what choices they have and feel back in control of their life." - MCIT participant
Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT)
The CAP identified a need to respond more effectively to 911 calls that involved individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. After consultation with community groups and the hospital, they helped create a unique partnership between the hospital and the police called the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT).
The MCIT team - a St. Michael's mental health nurse and a Toronto police officer - travel together in an unmarked car to respond to and de-escalate crisis situations. The team helps to avoid unnecessary arrests or trips to Emergency, and provides links to resources in the community. MCIT was chosen as a Leading Practice by Accreditation Canada in 2009. It was also the subject of an award winning documentary through the National Film Board of Canada's Filmmaker in Residence program.
For the past five years, the St. Michael's Mental Health and Addictions CAP has organized an annual community lunch for all community partners, including front-line staff from community agencies. During the lunch, participants visit tables staffed by various hospital program areas: inpatient, crisis, and outpatient. They can write down any questions or concerns on the paper table coverings, and many of these questions are answered right away. Participants can also tour different areas of the hospital. CAP Chair Aileen Meagher says, "The lunch is a great way to make links with the community and we always get new members."