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SJHH / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Mental Health Services/ COAST

COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team)

COVID-19 Update

Please plan to attend your appointment, procedure or surgery as scheduled unless you are otherwise notified. During the pandemic, the hospital may be required to prioritize emergency and urgent cases, which may result in a change to your appointment. If this is the case, you will be contacted by a member of your care team. As always, our goal is to continue serving our community by providing quality hospital services for as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so during the pandemic.

Click here for more information about  our hospital during the pandemic.

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24-hour COAST Crisis Line

What this program does…

COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team) provides services to people experiencing a crisis related to mental health and addictions. COAST is a unique partnership between mental health professionals from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and specially trained police officers from Hamilton Police Service.

COAST answers crisis telephone calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All phone calls are answered or returned within 15 minutes. COAST also is able to see people in the community between 8 am and 1 am every day to provide mobile mental health assessments and in-person support..


COAST Team Members:

Crisis Triage and Support Workers respond to people in crisis who call the crisis line. In collaboration with other members of the team, they complete initial telephone assessments and provide follow-up support. Crisis Triage Workers also participate in community-based assessments of children and youth.

COAST Mobile Team consists of a plainclothes police officer and a mental health professional (Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist, or Social Worker), driving an unmarked car. They provide mobile assessments and support to people who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. People in crisis are identified through phone calls from the person themselves, from family or from any other concerned community members including Hamilton Police.

Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT) team members are First Responders consisting of mental health professionals and dedicated uniformed police officers in a marked police cruiser. This team responds to 911 calls for persons in crisis. Expert mental health assessment and support can get to a person in crisis within minutes.

Behavioural Support Ontario (BSO) Community Outreach Team responds to older adults with responsive behaviours associated with cognitive impairment due to dementia or other conditions. The BSO team is partnered with The Alzheimer Society.

Nurse Practioner provides support to children and youth, and their families/caregivers.


How COAST Responds to a Crisis:

Intake and Triage 

  • Crisis Triage and Support Workers and other clinicians answer calls on the COAST crisis line
  • An intake assessment is completed, in which the person is asked about the situation, mental health concerns, and potential risks
  • Support, recommendations, and a plan for intervention are developed together, which could include Mobile Outreach


  • The COAST mobile team will carry out a community visit
  • The team can visit a residence, workplace, school, a coffee shop, or any other safe location to complete an assessment
  • A plan is developed which may include
    • Teaching or reviewing skills and safety planning
    • Making connections to other supports (i.e. outpatient programs, Barrett Centre)
  • If the situation cannot be safely managed in the community, the COAST team will assist the person to the hospital for further assessment and treatment


  • The person will be referred to other community programs and agencies when appropriate
  • Assessment information is shared with family doctors/primary care
  • Ongoing bridging support by telephone is offered to the person, as well as to families and caregivers as needed


​Satar Wahidi, Manager
Hamilton and Halton Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT)
Tel: 905 972 8118