Improved access to services
They serve a critical role in community safety but also work to improve access to services for people with severe mental illness who are at high risk of criminal legal system involvement. The team’s priority — through the mobile unit — is providing outreach and engaging community members.
The Mental Health Unit Outreach Van provides meals, information, and connection to services to community members in need—an attempt to meet people where they’re at and change the way services are delivered.
It used to be about coming to the office and having someone report-in once a month or once a week. We talk and maybe work on skill training to reduce thinking and behaviors leading to recidivism and we’re still doing that. But this is about trying to change the way we do what we do to engage more people. It’s about meeting folks where they’re at while also changing services to not only help folks exit the justice system, but to help them from ever entering it in the first place.
-- John McVay, community justice manager for the Mental Health Unit