One-of-a-kind, one-stop shop for mental health
Patients hope clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital will improve access to support
A new clinic in Edmonton could be the next step in fixing what patients say is a fragmented mental-health-care system in the city.
Access 24/7, a mental health clinic that will operate out of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in the heart of Edmonton, was announced Thursday by Alberta Health Services and the provincial government. It will act as a one-stop shop that consolidates existing mental-health services in the city, while offering referrals, assessment, and crisis outreach, among other services.
The clinic is based on feedback received by Alberta Health Services from patients, and is the first of its kind in the country, according Community activist Blake Loates hopes the Access 24/7 clinic at Royal Alexandra Hospital will make mental-health services more patient-friendly.
to Andrew Otway, president of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. Its main focus is to streamline access to mental-health services.
“Not everybody is working together,” said Blake Loates, who has been navigating
mental-health support services in Edmonton for the last 23 years. She said the system is “fractured,” and can often be disorganized.
A large number of Edmontonians who struggle with mental health issues, however,
come to hospital emergency departments when faced with a mental-health crisis, especially after hours.
“Often it’s not the best place to go,” Otway said.