Investing in Mental Health and Addictions

As outlined in the 2020-2021 Capital Budget, over $147 million will be invested province-wide in mental health and addictions infrastructure that will improve care for the one in ten Islanders who experience mental health and addictions challenges in their lifetime.

What is this investment being spent on?

Over the next five years, the following new facilities, program sites and services will be established: 

  • E-Mental Health Solutions – supporting real-time access to information, resources, tools and supports for Islanders and health care providers (e.g. rural tele-mental health services; online self-scheduling; virtual therapies and peer counseling).
  • Four (4) Community Health Centres/Hubs – providing robust collaborative community-based mental health and addiction services, including treatments, rehabilitation and supports, to Islanders closer to home. To be located in Charlottetown, Summerside, West Prince and Kings County. 
  • Structured Housing Unit and Adult Mental Health Day Treatment Program Site – an 8-bed structured housing facility on the grounds of the current Hillsborough Hospital, providing care for patients with complex needs as they transition from hospital to the community and day treatment for patients who do not require hospital admission. 
  • Mental Health and Addictions Emergency Department and Acute Stabilization Unit – a new 12-bed dedicated emergency department (8 emergency treatment spaces and a 4-bed stabilization unit) to be co-located at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, providing dedicated and timely access to trained mental health and addictions clinicians.
  • Long-Term Mental Health Residential Services – providing long-term housing with community mental health supports for individuals living with mental illness. To be located in Charlottetown and Summerside. 
  • Provincial Acute Mental Health and Addictions Hospital – to support all in-patient mental health care for adults, seniors, forensic cases, as well as in-patient addiction care for adults.
  • A New Child and Adolescent Acute Mental Health and Addictions Unit – to support inpatient children and adolescents 18 and under in a dedicated and appropriate unit. To be located at the QEH.

How were these priorities decided?

During 2018, Health PEI worked with a leading planning and design firm to consult with over 100 key partners, including front line health care providers, government departments, community organizations, and, most importantly, patients and their families to determine the program needs and what infrastructure would be best suited to care for Islanders faced with mental health and addiction issues. 

The input gathered during consultations, a review of existing programs, services and sites, along with current and emerging best practices in mental health and addictions care from around the world, informed the priorities and capital investments. This phase provided the what: what is needed to improve the Mental Health and Addictions System to better meet the needs of Islanders, what could work here and what does the latest research tell us. 

During 2019, the Department of Health and Wellness, in partnership with Health PEI, worked with a leading group of consultants who specialize in Mental Health and Addictions infrastructure development, including architects, functional planners, operational planners and medical IT specialists, to take the planning to next phase and develop an infrastructure plan. This included consulting with over 400 key partners including front line health care providers, government departments, community organizations, and, most importantly, clients, patients and their families and caregivers. This process has provided the how: how to implement the recommendations in the most effective and efficient way and how do we ensure that services continue to improve through this development.

What are the next steps?

The Department of Health and Wellness is now beginning the process of implementation and going to tender for building new facilities, while Health PEI continues the work of planning and implementing programming to ensure services continue to improve and meet the needs of Islanders. 

The Department of Health and Wellness and Health PEI will continue to engage with health care providers, community partners and organizations, patients and their families, as well as Islanders from across the province throughout the infrastructure planning process. 

Published date: 
February 25, 2022
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