In early 2015, the seniors crisis line took shape, creating a platform to engage with “hard to serve” seniors and caregivers, who may be experiencing difficulties relating to mental health, addiction, dementia, frailty, or isolation. The crisis line provides a low barrier platform to connect with a very complex population in order to deliver the appropriate psychosocial support that is so desperately needed.
The new crisis line is completely inclusive – anyone who calls will receive support regardless of catchment restrictions. Despite the sheer size and complexity of Toronto boundaries, this novel model serves the whole city, allowing partners to deliver a seamless basket of services. These services are accessible 365 days of the year, providing timely access to low barrier, mobile support and follow up case management services.
Anyone can call the crisis line to receive assistance including seniors, family members, health care providers, friends and neighbours. When an individual in need calls the crisis line:
- Staff assess the nature of the call to determine the most appropriate response;
- If deemed necessary, a mobile team is dispatched to the senior’s home, within 72 hours of the call, depending on the situation;
- If emotional support is required it will be provided immediately over the phone to de-escalate the crisis;
- Staff will create a plan for the client, including referrals and linkages to appropriate psychosocial and health resources.