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

COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team)

24-hour / 7 days a week 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 is not a rapid-response unit. If your situation is a life threatening emergency, please call 911.

COAST serves all ages from seniors, adults, youth, and children who are in crisis and have a mental health and addiction concern.

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.

COAST Mobile Team consists of a plainclothes police officer and a mental health professional (Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Social Worker or Registered Psychotherapists), 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, responding to 911 calls for persons in crisis. Police Officers are trained in (CIT) Crisis Intervention Training. They are specially trained to help people who are experiencing a mental health and addiction crisis.

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

How COAST Responds to a Crisis:

Intake and Triage 

  • Crisis Triage Workers and Mental Health Workers answer calls on the COAST crisis lines 
  • 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, the COAST Mobile Team


  • The COAST mobile team will respond to crisis calls in a priority manner
  • The team will response to a residence, workplace, school, a coffee shop, or any other safe location to complete an assessment and mental status exam
  • 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


  • Individuals will be referred to community programs and agencies as needed
  • Assessment information is shared with family doctors/primary care with consent as needed
  • Ongoing bridging support by telephone may also be provided to individuals, families, and caregivers as needed


Jenn Sansalone
Clinical Manager COAST & MCRRT Teams