Southern Chiefs’ Organization launches a 24-hour Mobile Crisis Response Team program

Last month, Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) launched a Mobile Crisis Response Team. The program will provide critical services to the 34 First Nation communities in Manitoba that the SCO serves.

The Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) program will offer 24-hour holistic and culturally sensitive crisis response, intervention, and case coordination services. SCO developed the MCRT working within the First Nations Wellness Continuum model.

“The discovery of the unmarked graves of the children last summer, combined with the isolation of the pandemic, has triggered deep trauma in our communities, and this support cannot come soon enough.”   – Dakota Tipi First Nation Chief Pashe in SCO’s new release.

CommAlert offers support

The CommAlert Group has partnered with the SCO to assist this invaluable program. CommAlert can provide culturally sensitive emergency call answering and dispatch support as an Indigenous company. For the MCRT, CommAlert provides support after-hours, on weekends, and evenings.

“This coverage allows citizens 24-hour access to this valuable crisis response service,” said Tim Carwell, President of The CommAlert Group. “Our trained call centre agents will receive those after-hours calls and dispatch someone from the MCRT team that can help. Essentially, we are a crisis communications triage.”

The MCRT team consists of a psychiatric nurse, therapists, trauma-informed counsellors, mental health and wellness specialists, and cultural supports. The MCRT also includes Anishinaabemowin language speakers. Providing services in local Indigenous languages is something CommAlert strives to offer.

“Part of our continuing mission is to learn and share the Indigenous languages of the communities we serve. At a minimum, we will say hello or goodbye in their language and connect them quickly with a fluent language speaker if there is a communication barrier,” said Carwell.

More about the MCRT

MCRT works with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and culturally appropriate mental health and clinical wellness providers to offer care and services. Services include but are not limited to: crisis intervention, prevention and response, mental health supports, assessments and support, continuum of care including addiction support, family support, and alternative services like traditional teaching, land-based healing, and ceremonies.

The MCRT is available to all of SCO’s member Nations. Call 1-877-SCO-2880 (1-877-726-2880) or email at [email protected].

SCO’s Mobile Crisis Response Team Poster