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Promising Practice: Offering easy access to care for youth with first episode mood & anxiety concerns

November 7, 2013

When psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Osuch first joined the London Health Sciences Centre in 2005 as the Rea Chair of Affective and Anxiety Disorders, the mandate of her position was to conduct functional brain imaging research on mood and anxiety disorders. As her research progressed, she realized that the youth participating in her study were unable to quickly access the psychiatric care they needed. Some of the younger participants would end up on waiting lists that were one to two years long, others would wind up cycling in and out of the emergency department or would be referred to adult psychiatric facilities.

So, Dr. Osuch expanded her research program to include clinical care and health care delivery evaluation research for youth with mood and anxiety concerns. With this change, the First Episode Mood & Anxiety Program (FEMAP) was born in 2006. At full capacity, the program sees about 250 new youth per year, offering direct and rapid access to psychiatric care without a physician’s referral.

EENet has produced a new edition in the Promising Practice series, focused on this program and the approach it takes to providing services for youth with first episode mood and anxiety concerns. You can read the full story on the EENet website.

Promising Practices profile innovative practices and initiatives from around Ontario. To read EENet’s Promising Practices, visit the EENet website.

To read EENet’s clear language summary of this research, and others, visit



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