Community-based mental health crisis care improving access
An innovative, new Community Crisis Model has brought together several community partners including the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN), Health Sciences North (HSN), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Sudbury/Manitoulin Branch, and the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) to improve community-based mental health crisis care.
In October of 2012, a new Community Crisis Model opened at the HSN’s Sudbury Mental Health and Addictions Centre. Now Crisis Intervention Services provide urgent mental health care in a calmer more peaceful atmosphere, away from the hospital’s emergency department.
Since the launch of the new model, twice the number of people have accessed crisis help compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, the crisis centre’s mobile unit has experienced a 102 per cent increase in calls; visits to the office and counselling by phone have increased by 61 per cent. Youth visits have also tripled over the previous year, while overall service volumes have doubled.
As part of this initiative, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Sudbury/Manitoulin Branch and Health Sciences North provided training to the Greater Sudbury Police Services staff on their response actions during a mental health crisis call, challenges faced by those with a mental illness and how to identify people who are appropriate for the mobile crisis unit or the Addiction Centre.
There will also be a CMHA Crisis Support Navigator on staff in HSN’s ER department, further supporting the diversion of patients from the hospital to the Crisis Intervention Services at 127 Cedar Street.