Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (MCIT) are collaborative partnerships between participating hospitals and the Toronto Police Service. The program partners a mental-health nurse and a specially trained police officer to respond to 9-1-1 emergency and police dispatch calls involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The team will assess needs and connect the person in crisis with appropriate services.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and require emergency assistance, visit your local emergency department or call 9-1-1.
What are MCITs?
MCIT stands for a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team. Each team consists of a specially trained police officer and a mental-health nurse. The program operates in twelve Divisions across Toronto.
The MCIT's mandate is to:
- enhance the quality of service delivered to people experiencing a mental health crisis
- provide a secondary response to incoming calls for service, follow-up, and referrals involving emotionally disturbed people in their own environment
- remove the individual from serious harm to themselves or others
- make an immediate on-site clinical assessment of the person in crisis
- arrange appropriate mental health treatment through referral to an appropriate agency or apprehension under the Mental Health Act
Can I call an MCIT?
No, you cannot call an MCIT directly. If you or someone around you is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 9-1-1.
What do the MCITs do?
They are a seven-day-a-week service that supports people experiencing a mental-health crisis in the community. When an MCIT attends a call, they will:
- assess the person in crisis
- connect the person to appropriate follow-up services
What types of calls do the MCITs attend?
MCITs attend in response to a call from a Priority Response Unit involving a mental-health crisis including thoughts of suicide or self-harm, distorted or psychotic thinking, anxiety, overwhelming depression, and those who may be suffering from a temporary breakdown of coping skills.
What types of calls do the MCITs not attend?
- individuals who are intoxicated on drugs or alcohol
- violent individuals or people with weapons
What does "second responder" mean? Why are MCITs second responders?
A second responder means that an MCIT will go to a call along with the Primary Response Unit (the "regular" police). The Primary Response Unit makes sure that the client in crisis, and those around them, are safe.
Are MCITs accessible 24/7?
The teams operate seven days a week and, depending on the team, will work as early as 6
a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. The hours are based on the times where the police receive the
highest number of calls related to people experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis.
The TPS is available 24/7 to attend 9-1-1 calls involving an emotional crisis.
Do MCITs use police cars?
Yes, MCITs use police cars.
Do the teams use handcuffs?
An MCIT consists of a nurse and a police officer. The job of the police officer is to make sure a person experiencing a mental health crisis, and those around them, are safe. In some cases, this might require that an individual is handcuffed. The MCIT police officer must fulfill his or her police responsibilities and follow TPS principles.
If apprehended under the Mental Health Act, where will the person be taken?
Where there are sufficient grounds to apprehend a person under the MHA, they will be taken to the nearest psychiatric facility, which is most often the nearest hospital emergency room.
To date, the Toronto Police Service is currently partnered with the following hospitals:
11/14 Divisions are partnered with St Joseph's Health Centre.
12/13/31 Divisions are partnered with Humber River Regional Hospital.
41/42/43 Divisions are partnered with The Scarbourough Hospital.
51/52 Divisions are partnered with St. Michael's Hospital.
54/55 Divisions are partnered with Toronto East General Hospital.
For Divisional maps and boundaries, click here.