Reach Out is a 24/7 bilingual information, support and crisis service for those living in London, Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin counties. This service, which launched August 23, 2016 is for people living with mental health and addictions needs – as well as their families, caregivers and health care providers.
The number is 519-433-2023. The toll free number is 1-866-933-2023. Individuals can web chat with a professional through the website, www.reachout247.ca. You can also follow us on Twitter at @reachout247 or like us on Facebook.
Reach Out will result in faster access to the most appropriate supports – whether that is crisis services, supportive listening, information, or an appointment with a mental health or addictions professional.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada estimates that 1 in 5 Canadians is affected by a mental illness or addiction issue every year. They assert that timely intervention is critical to reducing the lifelong burden of mental illness and addiction.
Reach Out is an example of the commitment of local mental health and addictions agencies to faster, more coordinated access to services. It is a partnership project of Addiction Services of Thames Valley and the Canadian Mental Health Associations of Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford. Reach Out is funded by the South West Local Health Integration Network.
All calls are answered by trained information and referral specialists, backed by a robust database of local service information. The needs of the caller drive the outcome of the call. A triage process starts the interaction. Callers in crisis are sent a mobile response team. Callers needing supportive listening are transferred to a trained volunteer. Callers requiring service or treatment are connected with an appropriate agency. The responsibility is then on the agency, not the caller, to call the individual back within 48 hours.
The development of Reach Out is motivated by the desire to provide individuals with mental health and addictions needs with timely, seamless access to appropriate services.