Responding to Mental Health Crises: Learning from Models in Ottawa and Beyond Webinar Series

In Ottawa, Canada and the U.S., there have been many successful models for responding to mental health crises. We invite you to this speaker series to learn what is currently being done in response to mental health crisis situations.

Each event in the series will feature one approach to a mental health crisis response, with a presentation highlighting how and why it was developed, how it works and the lessons learned. A Q&A will follow the presentation.

The series is co-sponsored by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, Minwaashin Lodge, Crime Prevention Ottawa, Ottawa Black Mental Health Coalition and Ottawa Community Partnership for Health Equity.

Presenters’ remarks will be in English only. Questions will be encouraged in both official languages.
Note: When registering for the first webinar, you will be registering for all webinars in the series.


Minwaashin’s Street Team OutReach Mobile (STORM) program

June 16, 2021
12PM – 1PM EST
No Cost

Join us for our fifth webinar to learn about The Street Team OutReach Mobile, STORM who has been an essential outreach service in Ottawa for over 12 years. The STORM teams are available to assist Indigenous women who are street involved with immediate harm reduction, safety planning, crisis interventions, and community referrals. STORM also serves women at-risk at becoming homeless and/or street involved. STORM plays an important role in anti-human trafficking efforts, through relationship building, providing transportation to safety, and aiding in arranging accommodations. Through additional funding in recent years, STORM is also able to serve men and non-Indigenous folks.

Responding to mental Health Crises: Learning from Ottawa and Beyond with Minwaashin Lodge’s Street Team Outreach Mobile in Ottawa.



Previous Webinars

REACH Edmonton’s 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team

June 2, 2021
Join us for our fourth webinar to learn about Reach Edmonton’s 24/7 Crisis Diversion program. This program dispatches crisis diversion teams around the clock, 365 days a year. They respond to people who are in distress and vulnerable on the streets of Edmonton and is a collaborative partnership with:

• Boyle Street Community Services
• Canadian Mental Health Association (211 program)
• HOPE Mission
• REACH Edmonton

There are also stakeholders from:

• Edmonton Police Service
• Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services

In this webinar we’ll be hearing from guest speakers: Madeleine Smith, BSW, RSW, Co-director of Community Initiatives and Claire MacDonald, the Program Coordinator of 24/7 Crisis Diversion & WrapED. In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The consultation process that led to creation of service
  • How the service delivery partnership works and who is funding
  • Communications and community engagement (ie how do people know to call)
  • Relationship to police – do some calls to police get diverted to you
  • Dispatch – What calls you will or will not respond to – how that works
  • How long an average intervention takes, what are your goals, what are some common outcomes for clients

CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets)

May 19, 2021
Join us on May 19th for a webinar to learn about the CAHOOTS crisis response program in Eugene-Springfield, Oregon. This is the third in our Webinar series, Responding to Mental Health Crises: Learning from Ottawa and Beyond, presented by Berkley Carnine, White Bird Community Education Specialist and Crisis Counselor.

CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) provides mobile crisis intervention 24/7 in the Eugene-Springfield Metro area. CAHOOTS is dispatched through the Eugene police-fire-ambulance communications center, and within the Springfield urban growth boundary, dispatched through the Springfield non-emergency number. Each team consists of a medic (either a nurse or an EMT) & a crisis worker (who has at least several years experience in the mental health field).

CAHOOTS provides immediate stabilization in case of urgent medical need or psychological crisis, assessment, information, referral, advocacy & (in some cases) transportation to the next step in treatment. Any person who reports a crime in progress, violence, or a life-threatening emergency may receive a response from the police or emergency medical services instead of or in addition to CAHOOTS.

Berkley Carnine, our presenter, is an educator, crisis worker, and organizer in Eugene, Oregon. She currently works as White Bird Clinic’s Community Education Specialist and as a mobile crisis counselor with CAHOOTS. Berkley has a Master in Fine Arts and twelve years of teaching experience in university and community college settings. She has fifteen years of community organizing experience including facilitating training and workshops on topics such as anti-oppression, nervous system support, de-escalation, and better bystander intervention. She’s also an Organic Intelligence practitioner and has been offering sessions and workshops in nervous system regulation and trauma resolution since 2016. Berkley brings her passion for healing, empowerment, and collective liberation to everything she does and believes everyone deserves dignity and wellbeing.


Drug Overdose Prevention Education Response Program

May 5, 2021
The DOPE Response team is a Community Health Centre lead program, offering assertive evening outreach to vulnerable and isolated community members in the Centretown, Carlington and Somerset West Community Health Centre catchments.  Services focus on increasing access to health promotion, prevention, treatment and harm reduction programs and services among high-risk people who use drugs.

This project builds on evidence-based best practices and our own experiences that recognize the value of having people with lived experience being an integral part of the opioid overdose response.


Reaching Towards Change: Developing a Framework for a Transformative Mental Health Crisis Service

To kick off the series, Rachel Bromberg of Toronto’s Reach Out Response Network presented

Rachel Bromberg is the Co-Founder of the Reach Out Response Network, the Executive Director of the International Mobile Services Association, and a JD/MSW student at the University of Toronto. She also works with the education department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health providing trauma-informed de-escalation training to inpatient and outpatient staff. 

The Reach Out Response Network is an advocacy-focused non-profit dedicated to supporting the city of Toronto in designing and implementing a civilian-led mental health emergency service, which will be piloted in January 2022. 

The session will be followed by a Q&A discussion.