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Safer Alternate Response Protoype Project 

A person in a mental health or substance use crisis needs the right response, at the right time, from the right people, with follow up support.


Centretown Community Health Centre and Somerset West Community Health Centre are pleased to announce they have been jointly selected by the City of Ottawa to deliver Ottawa’s alternate response prototype in the Centretown and Somerset West areas. 

Launching during summer 2024, Ottawa will soon have a response for mental health and substance use situations, called a safer alternate response.

Read the press release here.

What is a safer alternate response?

An alternate response is a non-police, community-led service that dispatches skilled crisis teams to people in mental health and substance use crises.

An alternate response addresses the needs of the whole person and any underlying factors; in the moment and longer term through ongoing follow-through and connections. 

Both Centretown Community Health Centre and Somerset West Community Health Centre bring extensive experience in working with diverse communities, including Black and racialized populations, Indigenous communities, and those experiencing homelessness. They employ a person-centered, harm reduction, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive approach, with a strong emphasis on building trust and maintaining relationships with clients, their families, and the broader community.

About Us

Centretown Community Health Centre

Centretown Community Health Centre is an urban not-for-profit organization providing healthcare for all. We provide a full range of quality health and social services to families and individuals who live or work in the communities we serve. We pay particular attention to groups facing barriers, including the senior population, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, those affected by mental illness and addictions, people who are homeless and newcomers to Canada.

Somerset West Community Health Center

Somerset West Community Health Centre is a non-profit, community-governed organization. We support people and communities to enjoy the best possible health and well-being by providing health and social services. We do this by removing barriers to accessing services for people who experience vulnerabilities as a result of their age, income, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, language or culture. We work alongside community members to make our neighbourhood and our city an even better place to live. Visit

Media Contact

Rachel Carmichael Campbell


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