One number. One phone call. A team of professionals ready to help.
Reach Out is a 24/7 bilingual information, support and crisis line for those living in London, Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin counties. This service, which launched on August 23, 2016 is for people living with mental health and addictions concerns – 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. The website is www.reachout247.ca. A web chat service is available through the website.
Reach Out will result in faster access to the most appropriate supports – whether that is crisis service, supportive listening, information, or a connect 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 London, 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 standardize assessment starts the interaction. Callers in crisis may be sent a mobile response team. Callers requiring supportive listening will receive a warm transfer to a trained volunteer. Callers requiring service or treatment are connected with an appropriate agency. The responsibility is then on the agency 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.