To firmly establish an alternative service maintaining, facilitating, and fostering user involvement at all levels of decision-making from day-to-day operations to the Board.
To remain vigilantly sensitized to the expressed needs and wishes of the user group so that the environment and support offered are individualized, responsive, and respectful of the autonomy, dignity, and ability of the client.
To foster and assist in the development of self-reliance and strong peer connections.
To recognize, and act on the recognition, that too frequently, psychiatric crises are caused, exacerbated, or prolonged by non-medical factors. These include but are not limited to trauma, poverty, sub-standard or non-existent housing, settlement issues, forced isolation and inactivity, age, all forms of prejudice and racism, biases regarding gender, sexuality, and sexual identity.
To respect and appreciate that recovery can be defined as the ability to live well in the presence or absence of one’s mental health difficulties, and that each person with a mental health struggle needs to define for themselves what “living well” means. Recovery is different for everyone and can be supported by a range of service models.
To maintain a holistic approach to crisis management, ensuring users are made aware of and given information, opportunity, and, if necessary, proactive assistance in accessing potentially beneficial programs and services that may positively impact their quality of life.
Our Purpose and Mission
To be an accessible source of support and recovery for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, work collaboratively to improve timely and equitable access to services, be guided by the voices of people with lived experience, and promote wellness, recovery, and psychiatric survivor/service user community initiatives and networks.
People are connected to communities where they feel included and valued and have the resources they need and want to live safe, secure and self-defined lives that are free of stigma and discrimination.
Respect, autonomy, dignity, diversity, social justice, equity, collaboration and accountability are at the core of all we do. We value the whole person and acknowledge and respect their needs and wishes for recovery.
We provide a community-based, non-medical, trauma-informed, harm reduction approach to crisis that respects individuals’ abilities to define their own identities, experiences, and goals.
Gerstein Crisis Centre has skilled and experienced Community Crisis Workers with a broad range of experience and education, many including lived experience. All staff are trained in crisis intervention, suicide intervention, harm reduction, and work from a trauma-informed perspective.