Toronto police launch mental health and addictions strategy
By The Canadian Press
Health and safety a priority in new initiative
TORONTO (CP) — The Toronto Police Service is promising to better train its officers to treat people experiencing mental health crises and addiction with compassion.
The service says it prioritizes the health and safety of both its officers and members of the broader community who experience mental health and addictions issues.
Launched today, the strategy was developed with the city’s police services board, its former mental health sub-committee and an external advisory panel.
Updating training materials
The service says officer training will focus on de-escalation techniques, bias-free policing, risk assessment, and mental health and addictions awareness.
It will also teach harm-reduction principles, which aim to mitigate the negative effects of drug use without requiring abstinence.
The strategy also commits to updating training materials with ongoing input from community members who have lived experience of mental health and addiction issues.