Walk-in mental health service expands
Strengthening mental health services -
Expanding mental health walk-in clinic services will provide better access to care for a growing number of Islanders seeking non-urgent and non-life threatening mental health and addictions care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) emergency department.
As previously acknowledged, the number of available psychiatrists supporting mental health care at the QEH is reduced over the next month due to leaves, retirements and resignations. With a reduced psychiatry service, it is important that their specialized expertise be focused on supporting individuals who are most ill. The additional walk-in clinic services in community will provide better and more appropriate access to Islanders not requiring emergency care while ensuring those who do require emergency care receive timely access.
Beginning this weekend, mental health walk-in clinics will be available in Charlottetown at the McGill Centre (55 McGill Avenue) as follows:
- Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A mental health walk-in clinic will also be added on Fridays at McGill Centre starting October 20 and be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Clinics are already available in Charlottetown at Richmond Centre (1 Rochford Street) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as in several locations in Prince County.
Plans are also underway to have a community mental health nurse practitioner available at McGill Centre to support Islanders living with mental illness who require adjustments to medications they are currently taking. The nurse practitioner will be available once staffing is complete.
Recognizing that this is a very challenging time for Islanders and health care providers, efforts to enhance services, especially in community, ensure Islanders are receiving the right care, in right place, by the most appropriate health care provider when they need it.
Health PEI continues to focus heavily on its recruitment efforts for psychiatrists. A number of psychiatry residents and locums will begin working on Prince Edward Island over the coming months, with some starting as early as next month.
Islanders needing immediate mental health crisis intervention can visit their local emergency department or call the Island Helpline toll-free at 1-800-218-2885.
For more information on mental health and addictions services available in communities across the province, including mental health walk-in clinic and contact information for community mental health and addiction offices, visit www.healthpei.ca/mentalhealthandaddictions.
Islanders living with mental health issues can take steps to support and manage their own health and well-being by:
- taking medications as prescribed;
- limiting alcohol intake and substance use;
- exercising; and
- being mindful of known triggers (such as people, places and activities).
The province’s mental health walk-in clinics are intended to help individuals dealing with anxiety, as well as life events causing stress and other mental health issues.
Individuals can see a registered community mental health therapist for up to one hour. At the end of the session, the individual will receive a brief written summary of what was discussed and suggestions or recommendations, including referrals to services offered by Community Mental Health.
No appointment or referral is needed.