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Improved access for addictions and mental health patients results in fewer visits to ER

(Horizon) November 17, 2015 - Horizon Health Network and Vitalité Health Network's Addictions and Mental Health Mobile Crisis services in Moncton are announcing changes that will help improve access to services and decrease unnecessary emergency department visits for patients. This will be achieved through a new partnership with Codiac Regional Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) by helping patients in crisis receive the right care at the right time.

Improvements  include increased hours of operation for Mobile Crisis services, changing to 12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year and partnerships with local RCMP and Telecare to help increase outreach and ensure a seamless continuity of services during off hours.

"These partnerships will allow patients to receive the best possible care," said Jill Leblanc-Farquharson, Director, Mental Health and Addiction Services for Horizon Health Network. "A crisis can arise anytime, any day of the year, which is why improving access and increasing outreach is so important. With these steps we hope to provide better access for our clients, while ensuring they have the resources available whenever a crisis occurs."

The Codiac Regional RCMP partnership will help increase outreach and support to those experiencing a crisis. One Addictions and Mental Health mobile crisis worker will be dedicated to help with all RCMP mental health calls for their entire shift. This will expedite the process for clients by reducing unnecessary hospital visits, providing a mobile assessment and connecting the client to services in the community after their initial contact.

"Patient accessibility to this service is a high priority. This service will offer assistance to people in situations of emotional crisis, who suffer from anxiety, from depression, that have suicidal thoughts or are going through a mental health crisis situation that requires emergency assistance", says Rino Lang, Vitalité Health Network's Community Health Services Director for the Beauséjour Zone.

Since launching in July, there have been 105 mental health calls involving a partnership between the RCMP and Mobile crisis, leading to 75 clients being diverted from the Emergency Department waiting room to a more appropriate service. Instead of waiting in the ED, patients have benefitted from direct and immediate care from a mobile crisis worker at their home or in the community, alleviating wait times and connecting clients with mental health services after the initial crisis. 

"Partnering with Codiac Regional RCMP will allow our mobile crisis team to connect with clients who may not normally contact our department," says Leblanc-Farquharson. "This provides us an opportunity to be there immediately when a crisis emerges and provide the face-to-face contact that can greatly benefit the client."

A second partnership has been formed with Telecare in order to provide a continuity of quality services. All calls received after hours will be directed to Telecare (811), where clients will have direct access to a healthcare professional at the time of their crisis.

Addictions and Mental Health Mobile Crisis services are available to anyone, of any age who is experiencing an addiction and/or mental health crisis. Existing Addictions and Mental Health Services client or anyone in the community can access these services through self-referral. A concerned family member, friend or healthcare provider can also make the initial call on behalf of the client.

More information about Moncton's Addictions and Mobile Crisis Team can be found on Horizon's website or Vitalité's website.  

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For more information contact:

Stephanie Neilson

Media Relations



Luc Foulem

Media Relations


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