The pilot project was quietly launched last Monday and sees University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital doctors going out to mental health calls with police three afternoons a week.
The doctors can access a person's medical history to make spot assessments and decide whether someone should be detained or given follow-up assistance.
Police estimate that one out of every 20 dispatches or public encounters involves people with mental health issues.
The initiative was announced today and builds on a partnership between police and the hospital's mobile crisis team which began in 2004.
The hospital has given more than 90 front-line officers training in handling mental health issues since last year.
"This approach in dealing with some mental health calls is something that we see can be a huge benefit to people experiencing mental health issues," Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said in a statement.