Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Background
  • Deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, decreased health care funding for inpatient hospitalization, and a philosophical shift to community-based mental health service delivery have significantly influenced the growth of crisis intervention services in Ontario in the last several years.
  • Originally highlighted in 1993 in the Ministry of Health document “Putting People First: The Reform of Mental Health Services in Ontario” Ontario Ministry of Health, 1993, crisis services were identified as a key component of mental health reform in Ontario.
  • Later in 1997, the “Best Practices in Mental Health Reform” document recommended crisis intervention as an effective approach to services for people in crisis (Health Canada, 1997).
  • Most recently, in the two “Making It Happen” documents, the provincial government reaffirmed its commitment to the provision of crisis services and assumed a more proactive approach in supporting the increased need for crisis services in both the community and hospital sectors (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 1999ab).