New mental health support system introduced for Brantford Police Service

November 15, 2017

BRANTFORD, November 15, 2017 – Brantford Police Service, in partnership with St. Leonard’s Community Services and HealthIM, demonstrated a new mental health crisis support system that is funded by Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund (HTF). 

This project is one of 15 that received funding in the first round of Ontario’s $20-million HTF. The fund is administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS), and is a part of the OCHIS mandate to strengthen Ontario’s health innovation ecosystem.

“The Health Technologies Fund is already having an impact in the health system because of the collaborations it has created between health service providers, health technology innovators and patients,” says William Charnetski, Ontario’s Chief Health Innovation Strategist. “We are finding new ways to solve our greatest challenges by harnessing the power of innovation to provide better care while creating jobs in Ontario.”

Representatives from OCHIS and OCE were on location for a presentation that included highlights of the Health Innovation Teams’ progress to date.

The Brantford Mental Health Crisis Support System looks to leverage new technology in order to achieve three major objectives for people with mental health disorders:

  • Increase the diversion rate from hospital to community-based services.
  • Increase the appropriate hospital admission rate after apprehension.
  • Reduce the number of repeated mental health-related calls to BPS each year.

“These digital health projects demonstrate why investment through the Health Technologies Fund is so important. People are more comfortable than ever using digital technology in their everyday lives and they expect the same kind interaction of their health system,” says Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “With these new tools, health care will become even faster and simpler for patients to use in their homes and communities.

With a proven track record of delivering programs on behalf of the Ontario government, OCE was selected to deliver the HTF and assist in driving the development of made-in-Ontario healthcare technology while supporting economic growth, co-investing to commercialize innovation and fostering partnerships and collaboration in the health system.

“Healthcare is a priority sector in Ontario and globally, so it makes sense that OCE works with publicly-funded healthcare service providers, patients, academia and industry to find innovative ways to improve patient outcomes and experience by supporting the demonstration of health tech through the Health Technologies Fund,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO

For more information, please visit the Health Technologies Fund website.

Media Contact:
Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.

About the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist:
The Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS) was created in September of 2015 to fulfill the recommendations made by the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC) established by the Ontario government in 2013. The council submitted is report, The Catalyst, in December 2014.

OCHIS is a catalyst to help accelerate health technology commercialization efforts in Ontario. The purpose of the office is to drive collaboration across the health care system to accelerate the adoption and diffusion of new innovative health technologies and processes to:

OCHIS focuses on targeted priorities:

  • Optimize pathways to adoption and diffusion for innovative Ontario health technologies
  • Enable effective procurement of innovation by shifting the health care system to strategic, value-based procurement and removing barriers for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate.
  • Provide better care closer to home by supporting home and community care enabled by virtual, mobile and digital health technologies
  • Empower Ontarians through digital health by building a dynamic market of digital tools and supports to navigate and personalize their path to health and wellness
  • Enhance Indigenous peoples health by advancing opportunities for innovation to address health challenges in their communities.

To be world-leading, Ontario's health technology companies need to generate significant export activity. OCHIS supports efforts to champion them in global markets.

About the Brantford Police ServiceThe mission of the Brantford Police Service is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens and respond to their changing needs by ensuring and promoting public safety in partnership with our community.

About St. Leonard’s Community Services – The commitment of St. Leonard’s Community Services is to quality assurance standards, through the consistent and ongoing application of a Client Service Model which is based on current evidence-informed best practices to be effective with clients within the Brantford/Brant Community. Click here to see an Agency overview for more information.

About HealthIMHealthIM is a comprehensive technical solution for Police Service response to mental health crisis calls. On scene, Officers are guided through a brief digital screening of an individual’s risk of harm. After an Officer decides which outcome is most appropriate HealthIM supports transfer of care to mobile crisis teams, emergency shelters or in the case of apprehension, to local hospital receiving sites. The system utilizes military-grade cryptography (transport layer security and 4096 bit RSA encryption) to safeguard an individual’s privacy.

For more information, please contact:

Brantford Police Service

Cst. Natalie Laing

Tel: 519-756-0113 Ext. 2204



St. Leonard’s Community Services

Brad Stark




Brendan Sheehan

Mobile: (519) 590-6583