Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Northern Health to add mental health and substance use support program for Prince Rupert Regional Hospital

Prince Rupert Regional Hospital
will benefit from a new program at
Northern Health
The Ministry of Health in British Columbia has added some new funding for programs in the Northern Health Service area, with Prince Rupert Regional Hospital listed as one of three locations to benefit from a new focus on mental health and substance use issues.

To reduce the amount of time members of the RCMP spend with patients in the emergency department, a new psychiatric liaison nurse position will be added to the three hospitals in the Northern Health region, with Prince Rupert joining  Prince George and Fort St. John in providing for the service.

The nurse will support physicians and staff in the emergency department by quickly helping to assess the patient, and start determining the best supports — either community based programs or in-patient care.

That will allow attending RCMP members to return to their policing duties in a shorter amount of time after responding to calls that bring residents of the area to the hospital for evaluation, in the past the need to remain at the hospital with those in their care has taken members off the streets for lengthy periods at times. This new program will reduce the time involved in the transfer of responsibility for those that are brought to the hospital.

RCMP members will be able to return
to the streets sooner with the introduction
of a new program at Northern Health
 “Mental health and substance use support cannot come from a single organization, and instead need to be created in partnerships that wrap services around the patient,”“The new programs will help Northern Health better serve its clients, while getting the police officers back onto the road more quickly.” -- Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie introducing some of the benefits of a new program for Northern Health across the region

Prince Rupert will not be the only area of the Northwest to benefit from the increased funding, the Terrace area will also received funding for an expansion of the intensive case management team process to the Northwest, that program will see outpatient support teams provide street and community outreach services in the Terrace area.

You can review some of the background on the recent announcements here.

More background on the services for Mental Health and addictions through the Northern Health system can be found here.

For more information related to Northern Health developments in Prince Rupert see our archive pages here.

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