People with complex mental health issues can sometimes fall through the cracks of the health system. A new team of health professionals is being set up in eight Saskatchewan communities to help these people get the help they need, the province says. The Saskatchewan government is putting $4.2 million into funding Community Recovery Teams (CRTs) in Regina, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Swift Current, Weyburn, Yorkton and Saskatoon.
The CRTs will include a team lead, two community mental health nurses, a social worker and an occupational therapist. The teams will provide intensive supports to clients who need it on a daily basis to help them avoid hospitalisation.
Community health nurse Candice Massier says the Community Recovery Teams can help patients stayin the community. (CBC News)
"We can offer that team approach to hopefully manage these clients in the community so that they stay well," said Candice Massier, a community mental health nurse on the Regina CRT. "So that they aren't utilizing our crisis- or emergency-based services and exhausting that. "If we can help alleviate some of that load. I think that we've been able to help them."
Massier said there are people with mental health issues that have exhausted services currently in the system and have nowhere else to turn. "If we can help these people, these individuals, live well in the community, then we've established our goals right there and it is through that intensive based service that we will be able to do that."
Corrections and Policing Minister and Regina Wascana Plains MLA Christine Tell said mental health and addictions have increased in the province and services haven't kept pace. "We're taking those steps to move us closer to where we need to be to help people and there's more work to do," Tell said.
CRTs will be able to go out to meet patients in the community and respond to issues as soon as they arrive. For example, if there's a problem with medication a nurses on staff will be able to assess and contact a psychiatrist that works with a team to adjust medication in real time rather than waiting a week or two when things get worse.
Funding comes from the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Funding Agreement. The federal government is providing Saskatchewan with about $350 million over 10 years for targeted investments in home and community care and mental health and addiction services.
Published: Feb 26, 2019