By Charlotte Oduol 
BELLEVILLE – Help is on the way for those dealing with mental health and addiction issues in the city.
Addictions and Mental Health Services – Hastings, Prince Edward (AMHS-HPE) have announced that they have partnered up with the Belleville Police Service on the launch of the Integrated Mobile Police and Co-Response Team pilot project (IMPACT) pilot project in Belleville.
“It’s been a passion of mine for a long time to get this up and running probably I would say at least over 10 years if not more than that I’ve been having this discussion about some form of mobile crisis response in partnership with our mental health professionals in the community so Needless to say…I’m ecstatic that it’s actually come to fruition,” said Belleville Inspector Sheri Meeks, in a phone interview with Qnet News reporter.
The IMPACT pilot project is a co-response live model where mental health or an addiction professional can assist with linking an individual with community supports right on the scene, provide follow-up support or transitional support to assist the individual at the hospital if there’s an apprehension under the Mental Health Act.http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/final-clip.mp3 
Meeks said the partnership with AMHS was a necessary collaboration in helping fight the mental health and addictions crisis here locally but also in providing a certain level of support to those that might need it.http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/crisis.mp3 
She said it was a much-needed program here locally and seeing it finally come to light has provided even more positive feedback.
“In terms of police officers and actual impact workers themselves and I was just discussing with manager today, there’s very positive feedback. The relationships are being built and not only with the police officers but also with the community members that we’re dealing with especially some of our most vulnerable individuals.”
The pilot project is a voluntary program. Individuals are asked to continue to access their rights even when seeking extra support or assistance.
“This is not a forced program so if somebody that we’re dealing with does not want to deal with the impact team and they’d rather speak to the police officers they have that right, it’s voluntary but I would suggest that most people so far have obviously wanted to talk to somebody that’s with us that’s one of the impact workers we’ve got three great ones and they are there.. and they are there to help,” said Meekshttp://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/support-police.mp3 
The team at the pilot project will continue to provide service 10 hours per day, seven days a week, even on statutory holidays.