Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (MCITs) are collaborative partnerships between participating Toronto area hospitals and the Toronto Police Service. The program partners a mental health nurse and a specially trained police officer to respond to situations involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Coverage is now available throughout the City of Toronto.
The MCIT's mandate is to:
- Make an immediate onsite clinical assessment of the person in crisis
- Attempt to stabilize and defuse the crisis
- Assist in removing the individual from serious harm to themselves or others
- Provide supportive counselling, as needed
- Arrange appropriate mental health treatment through referrals to an appropriate agency or apprehension under the Mental Health Act
- Coordinate and facilitate transportation to the hospital emergency department if further psychiatric and medical assessment is required
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 the Toronto Police Service at 416-808-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Are MCITs first responders?
No. Priority Response Units (PRU) are the officers that respond to all calls for service including 9-1-1 emergency calls. They will attend calls for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis first to ensure it is safe for the nurse. The MCIT will then attend as secondary responders when the PRU indicates it's safe to do so.
Although MCITs have traditionally been considered secondary responders, the program has evolved since its inception in 2000. The MCITs now may operate as co-responders to calls that do not include weapons or any other identified safety concerns. This means, when appropriate, MCITs will respond simultaneously with Priority Response Unit officers.
Are MCITs accessible 24/7?
The teams operate seven days a week and, depending on the team, will work beginning at 11 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. The hours are based on the times when the police receive the highest number of calls related to people experiencing a mental health crisis. The Toronto Police Service is available 24/7 to attend 9-1-1 calls involving a person in crisis.
Do MCITs use police vehicles?
Yes, MCITs use police vans designated for MCIT.
Do the teams use handcuffs?
The police officer has the responsibility to ensure individuals and the community are safe. However, police officers are able to use discretion in any situation where they may have to use handcuffs.
If apprehended under the Mental Health Act, where will the person be taken?
An individual who may be experiencing a mental health crisis that is potentially a danger to themselves or others may be apprehended by police under the Mental Health Act. In doing so, the individual will be taken to the nearest psychiatric facility which is most often the nearest hospital emergency room.
The Toronto Police Service is currently partnered with the following hospitals:
11/14/22 Divisions are partnered with St Joseph's Health Centre.
12/13/23/31 Divisions are partnered with Humber River Hospital.
32/33 Divisions are partnered with North York General Hospital.
41/42/43 Divisions are partnered with Scarborough and Rouge Hospital (formed from the merger of The Scarborough Hospital and the Centenary site of Rouge Valley Health System).
51/52 Divisions are partnered with St. Michael's Hospital.
53/54/55 Divisions are partnered with Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital).
View divisional maps and boundaries on the Toronto Police Service website.