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Expect redesign of mental health services over next three years

During public consultation undertaken for a third Integrated Health Services Plan  – Better Integration, Better Health Care – the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) learned about opinions and concerns surrounding the delivery of mental health and addictions services throughout this region.

“Overall, our residents, clients and patients, primary care providers and current mental health and addiction service providers all indicated that while the care received at any one provider has been very good, the current patchwork of providers and services does not serve the residents of the South East as well as it could,” said Caitlin den Boer Communication Coordinator. “In particular, feedback from our community engagement activities has reflected concerns with:  duplication of services, duplication of assessments (multiple story telling), difficulties in transitioning between providers, difficulty in accessing services, insufficient volume of services to satisfy demand, and the stigma often faced in accessing these and other health services.”

denBoer said it was incumbent on the South East LHIN to address the issues and initiate the process of redesigning mental health and addictions services… “while achieving improvements in transitions in care and achieving greater efficiencies that will in turn improve access to high quality care for our residents.”

denBoer says a  project plan developed in March in collaboration with providers, has been launched and is targeted for completion by the end of this year. The re-design plan is then to be validated, with implementation targeted for 2014/15 and 2015/16.

“The strengthening of mental health and addictions services delivered in the community and in hospitals is part of the implementation of the South East LHIN’s IHSP3, Better Integration, Better Health Care and aligns with Ontario’s Action Plan: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place,” she said, adding “The redesign and implementation of mental health and addiction services will also build upon the recent progress achieved through the Clinical Services Roadmap (CSR) initiatives which have targeted issues such as access to care, wait times, stigma reduction, crisis response, behavioral support services and client flow across the continuum of care in our region. This work is and continues to be foundational to the development of a regional mental health and addictions system.”

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