Toronto Police App Maps Out Mental Health Services for People in Crisis

Toronto Public Service

A new online resource is available to Toronto Police Service members to connect the public to community resources, including mental-health services.

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The Community Asset Portal (CAP) is a web application that shows an up-to-date map of social services such as shelters, community resource navigators, and mental health and youth support services. The app detects the location of users and allows them to see the resources using a colour-coded map or by moving through a list of categories, such as Health or Food & Housing services. It also shows people how to get to the location by car, foot and public transit, as well as gives contact information.

It was developed by Ryerson Geography students in collaboration with Toronto Police Service Business Intelligence, the City of Toronto Social Research & Information Management Unit, and using data provided by FindHelp/211.

The app came out of a recommendation in the Iacobucci Report, Police Encounters with People In Crisis, asking police to develop more education on mental-health services for officers through a comprehensive list or map.

With an average of about 70 mental-health calls to the Service each day, many that do not result in a mental-health apprehension, officers will now be able to recommend resources with the help of CAP.

Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (MCITs), which partner a nurse and police officer to respond to mental health calls, will benefit from having a new resource to help connect clients to ongoing support to prevent a crisis where police are called to help.

Access the Community Asset Portal.

Ryerson Master’s students Joseph Ariwi, Gabby Lee, Ela Lichtbau and Gary Moloney designed the portal, lending their expertise in spatial geography, to display the data into a user-friendly portal.