Sudbury Community Crisis Intervention Steering Committee

Network/coalition name:  Sudbury Community Crisis Intervention Steering Committee

Primary contact:

Maureen McLelland, BScN, MHSc, CHE
Administrative Director
Sudbury Mental Health & Addictions Centre
Health Sciences North
705-523-7100 ext. 4299

Communities included within your network: Greater City of Sudbury

Number of agencies involved in your network: 7

Sectors involved in the network:  Police, EMS, children’s mental health (MCYS-funded), community mental health (LHIN-funded) , education, acute care

Website address:


How did your committee start?

It started out of necessity with increasing numbers of youth and adults accessing 911 services and local emergency rooms.


Describe the goals/objectives of your network:

The goal of the Sudbury Community Crisis Intervention Steering Committee is to improve access to earlier intervention for youth and adults at risk through community collaboration.


Describe some of the key activities your network has been involved in?

Key activities of the Sudbury Community Crisis Intervention Steering Committee include:

  • training police and EMS personnel in effective strategies for dealing with youth/ adults in crisis and with mental illness and addictions issues
  • developing a standardized risk triage model for use by police, EMS, ED, crisis and children’s mental health
  • marketing of crisis intervention support to youth through poster campaigns in schools, youth and recreational centres, targeted youth billboards and radio ads,  pre-movie ads at local cinemas, locker magnet campaigns in schools
  • enhanced hours (youth friendly) including in person mobile and office-based support 7 days per week until 10 pm and 24/7 Live voice response.
  • Increasing availability of crisis assessments by using OTN on a 24/7 basis to youth living in rural areas and served by aboriginal health access centres.

Celebrating the 1 Year Anniversary of Community-based Crisis Intervention Services highlights the work and successes of the Sudbury Community Crisis Intervention Steering Committee in 2013. The work centred on the implementation of an expanded delivery model of the community’s existing crisis intervention service.


What success factors can you identify that are helping your network to achieve your desired outcomes?

Strong community partnerships (information sharing and response), consistent risk triage guidelines used by all partners, appealing marketing materials (youth friendly), use of technology (OTN) to ensure face-to-face assessments and engage rural clinicians in safety planning.

Has your network faced any significant challenges? What are they and what have you done (or what’s being done) to address them?

In terms of access to ongoing counseling supports in the children’s mental health sector, youth face significant challenges and wait times following crisis visit(s). This issue will require time and dedicated focus to resolve, through children’s mental health lead agencies and their community mental health plans.


Do you have any tips for other communities mobilizing around youth suicide prevention, risk management and postvention?

After-hours and weekend supports are highly valued by youth. Services should be accessible outside the typical 8-4 weekday. Technology, such as OTN, allows us to reach youth in remote areas and provides an effective, affordable means of offering  suicide prevention,  intervention and postvention support.

Have you evaluated the efforts of your group?

The Sudbury Community Crisis Intervention Steering Committee developed an evaluation to outline the critical components and impacts of changes that were made in October 2012 to existing crisis services operating in the Sudbury area.