Newly renovated 24/7 crisis centre opens on Huron Street

Officials cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Centre at 648 Huron St. Photo courtesy of CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services.

After nearly a year, renovations at the Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Centre in northeast London have been completed.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services (CMHA TVAMHS) announced on Tuesday it has shifted its services back to the facility at 648 Huron Street. For the past 11 months the crisis centre temporarily operated out of 534 Queens Ave.

The $1.8 million renovation has allowed the centre to add ten additional stabilization beds, which give those suffering a mental health or addictions crisis a safe place to stay for 72 hours. The beds mean fewer people in crisis will end up in jail or hospital. They complement existing services at the facility that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We thank our clients, their friends and families, and our community partners for their patience over the past 11 months, as renovations were happening and services and supports were less centralized,” Lori Griffith, director of crisis and access at CMHA TVAMHS, said in a statement. “We are excited to be providing integrated crisis supports and services at this permanent location on Huron Street.”

Last year, more than 620 people in crisis relied on stabilization spaces that were located in the south-end and more than 20,000 calls and texts came into the agency’s reach out line. Figures also show, on average 50 per cent of those seeking mental health supports at the crisis centre are doing so for the first time.

In addition to the stabilization beds, the crisis centre houses walk-in crisis response supports and is the headquarters for the agency’s crisis response teams, the community outreach and support team, peer support, clinical services and bereavement support.

Placing all of these services in the same location ensures those in need of mental health and addiction care receive a well-rounded approach to support and system navigation, said Adam Bennett, deputy chief of operations for the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service.

“The implementation of the Crisis Centre has had a positive impact on patients and in helping Middlesex-London Paramedic Service deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time and having crisis stabilization and the crisis centre under one roof furthers this goal,” said Bennett.