Local Police Partner and Northumberland Hills Hospital to Offer Concentrated M-HEART Services in the Municipality of Brighton

A successful partnership between local police services and community mental health providers will now be offering additional focused support for the Municipality of Brighton. M-HEART (Mental Health Engagement and Response Team) combines supports within the justice and health care systems to collaboratively assist individuals with mental illness and/or addictions.


A Community Safety and Policing Grant Application has secured an additional 20 hours a week for service by an M-HEART Registered Nurse in the Municipality of Brighton.


The Community Safety and Policing Grant Application was secured through the Ministry of the Solicitor General. The application was put forth by the Brighton Police Service Board in partnership with the Northumberland OPP and Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH).


Introduced to the region in the spring of 2018, M-HEART has been operational five days per week in partnership with the Northumberland OPP, Port Hope Police Service, and the Cobourg Police Service, to improve mental health supports across Northumberland County. OPP Mental Health Liaison Officers currently are accompanied by a full-time mental health Registered Nurse to jointly and proactively provide services with respect to mental health and/or addiction issues in Northumberland OPP’s detachment areas. 


The M-HEART Registered Nurses work in tandem with their policing partners, providing the community with client-centered and trauma-informed mental health nursing care to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. This can include consultation in crisis intervention and helping to determine a therapeutic course of action in a crisis. The M-HEART Registered Nurse is able to perform mental health assessments and facilitate a seamless transition to medical facilities. The M-HEART Registered Nurse is able to participate in the ongoing assessment of the client, where they can provide follow up consultations and assistance in connecting the client and their families to available community resources for basic needs, emergency services, crisis services and other services deemed appropriate for the individual client’s needs. The aim is to support the longer term stabilization of a vulnerable population within our communities, and collaboratively develop treatment that includes client directed goals. 


“Since its launch, M-HEART has become an integral service for the residents of Northumberland County,” said Jennifer Cox, NHH Vice President, Integrated Care. “It has provided valuable opportunities to bring supports directly to individuals in need, while mitigating potential barriers caused by system navigation, transportation, or other existing factors that prevent delivery of care. We are elated to expand M-HEART into Brighton and continue this beneficial collaboration with Northumberland OPP.” 


“With a concentrated focus in Brighton, our goal is to continue offering mental health services that residents feel comfortable accessing,” said Emma Taylor, NHH Integrated Director, Mental Health Community Programs and Services. “The success of M-HEART’s expansion will be strengthened by promoting awareness and accessibility of these services among our targeted demographics.”


“The Northumberland OPP is excited to have increased M-HEART services in Brighton and the surrounding area. The additional hours will complement the tremendous service that M-HEART brings to our communities,” said Detachment Commander, Inspector Jeff Martin. 


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