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Hospitals offer mental health supports 24/7

by Jaime Myslik

WELLINGTON CTY. - All three hospitals in Wellington County offer specialized mental health support.

At Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus, at Louise Marshall Hospital in Mount Forest and at Palmerston and District Hospital, each emergency department offers mental health support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This service is offered to both adults and children, and is provided by specialized workers from Homewood Health Services (our regional referral acute mental health hospital) and the Canadian Mental Health Association,” explained Stephanie Pearsall, vice president of patient services and chief nursing executive for the Wellington Health Care Alliance.

Hospitals are available to anyone looking for mental health support.

“Our emergency departments are a safe place where staff and physicians are available to speak to any individual struggling with mental health concerns,” Pearsall said.

After an initial assessment with a mental health worker, the attending physician has a number of treatment options for the patient, she said, including:

- referral to the  family doctor for follow-up and care;

- referral to a Canadian Mental Health Association community treatment program; and

- transfer or referral to an acute inpatient mental health facility at a partner organization – Homewood Health Services in Guelph for adults or Grand River Hospital in Kitchener for children or youth under 18.

“Here patients have full access to a comprehensive team of mental health experts,” Pearsall said.

Addiction counsellors

In addition to ongoing support in the hospitals, specialized addiction counsellors are now working in each of the emergency departments, she said.

However, those positions were possible through one-time funding from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network that will conclude March 31.

February 9, 2018


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