What is Reach Out?
Reach Out is a bilingual 24/7 information, support and crisis service for people with mental health or addiction needs living in Elgin, Oxford, Middlesex or London. It is a partnership project of Addictions Services of Thames Valley and the Canadian Mental Health Associations of Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford. It is funded by the South West Local Health Integration Network.
What are you offering to people with addiction concerns or mental health needs?
One phone number. One phone call. A team of professionals to help. Reach Out will result in faster access to the most appropriate supports – whether that is crisis service, supportive listening, information, or a connection with a mental health or addictions professional.
We welcome calls from health professionals and community service providers looking to access information on behalf of those they serve.
How does it work behind the scenes?
All calls are answered by trained information and referral specialists, backed by a robust database of local and provincial service information. These IRS (Information and Referral Specialists) will are hired and trained by Connex Ontario.
The needs of the caller drive the outcome of the call. Staff first work with callers in crisis to deescalate the crisis. If that is not successful, it may be necessary to call 911 or connect the caller with a mobile crisis response team. Callers requiring less urgent service or treatment options will receive be connected with a mental health or addictions professional at the most appropriate local agency. Connex staff will offer brief intervention therapy, followed by a warm transfer to the newly established Support Line volunteer team at CMHA Middlesex if supportive listening will best serve the caller.
What is the rationale behind launching another phone number?
We have heard from our clients and members of the community that access to mental health and addictions services is frustrating and fragmented. With at least six crisis and support lines available in Thames Valley it is difficult to know who to call. We’re trying to reduce this frustration and fragmentation by heavily promoting a single point of phone access.
Secondly, Reach Out is an example of our commitment to coordinated access. This is one of a number of projects happening around the South West Local Health Integration Network.
Finally, Reach Out is motivated by our commitment to best practice (for example standardized screening and assessment tools), and our desire to provide individuals with addiction concerns and mental health needs with timely, seamless access to appropriate services.
How do I learn more?
The phone number is 519-433-2023. If that’s long distance, call 1-866-933-2023. You can also visit our website at www.reachout247.ca to access the web chat service, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@reachout247).
To ask specific questions, please use the general inquiries form.