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Starling Community Services.

Pilot Program to Reduce Emergency Department Pressures

on November 27, 2018
Emergency Room Sign
Emergency Room Sign

Lutherwood has launched an exciting pilot program with Grand River Hospital, the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to reduce pressure on six local and rural hospital emergency departments and free up hospital mental health beds. The pilot, which began November 1st and will run until March 31st, 2019, focuses on providing medically stable youth with services that offer the most appropriate level of care.

The program consists of two streams: a short-term transition program and an emergency department diversion program.

The Woodlands Short-Term Stay Transition Program offers two transition beds at our Children's Mental Health Centre on Benjamin Road. Youth who are ready to be discharged from Grand River Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric (CAIP) unit but are still in need of intensive support, are referred to this program for about 4-6 weeks for a more gradual and successful return to their home.

The Emergency Department Diversion Program is available to Waterloo and Wellington hospitals that see children and youth who require immediate community and/or respite support but do not require being admitted. For Waterloo Region families, Lutherwood and Camino staff help ensure appropriate community service supports are provided, and Lutherwood’s Safe Haven Youth Services provides beds for youth whose families need respite support.

This pilot program ensures youth and families in a mental health crisis have more positive and supportive experiences by providing the most appropriate level of care to meet their needs. It also helps fill unused live-in beds at our Children's Mental Health Centre, uses our Community Mental Health service capacity to help clients avoid the need for inpatient services, and helps reduce emergency department wait times.

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