Eastern Health boost­ing men­tal health, ad­dic­tions sup­port on Burin Penin­sula

Drop-in ser­vices, sui­cide in­ter­ven­tion train­ing avail­able

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page -

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Eastern Health an­nounced nu­mer­ous new mea­sures to ex­pand pri­mary health care ser­vices and im­prove ac­cess to men­tal health and ad­dic­tions ser­vices on the Burin Penin­sula Nov. 28.

The mea­sures are part of a pri­mary health-care ini­tia­tive es­tab­lished in the re­gion in May 2017. Res­i­dents were sur­veyed to de­ter­mine what was work­ing in health-care ser­vices, and where im­prove­ment was needed.

Ac­cess to men­tal health and ad­dic­tions ser­vices was iden­ti­fied as an area re­quir­ing more fo­cus.

The re­cent num­ber of sui­cides in the Grand Bank area has also high­lighted the need for ad­di­tional ser­vices and sup­port, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from Eastern Health.

One of the mea­sures an­nounced is a men­tal health and ad­dic­tions wellness and re­sources drop-in ser­vice in Grand Bank, which started on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 29.

The ser­vice will op­er­ate each Wed­nes­day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Dr. S. Beck­ley Health Cen­tre in Grand Bank and will be staffed by a reg­is­tered nurse and a so­cial worker.

Men­tal health and ad­dic­tions sup­port will also be avail­able by ap­point­ment through­out the week.

“This is an im­por­tant step as we con­tinue to strengthen pri­mary health care on the Burin Penin­sula,” said Eastern Health pres­i­dent and CEO David Di­a­mond.

“Pro­vid­ing the most ap­pro­pri­ate ser­vices to peo­ple, when and where they are most needed, will help im­prove the over­all health of the pop­u­la­tion.”

Men­tal health and ad­dic­tions ser­vices will also be in­creased in Marys­town.

On Mon­days and Tues­days, Eastern Health will of­fer a walkin men­tal health and ad­dic­tions clinic in the Marys­town Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Build­ing, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which will in­clude DoorWays sin­gle-ses­sion coun­selling, among other ser­vices.

Eastern Health is part­ner­ing with Richard’s Legacy Foun­da­tion for Survivors of Sui­cide Loss, Inc. to of­fer sui­cide in­ter­ven­tion train­ing (ASIST) to health-care pro­fes­sion­als and com­mu­nity groups on the Burin Penin­sula in De­cem­ber, Fe­bru­ary and March.

Eastern Health part­nered with town coun­cils and com­mu­nity agen­cies on the Burin Penin­sula to form a Coali­tion for Men­tal Health and Wellness in Au­gust.

“The new coali­tion will fos­ter a healthy com­mu­nity by pro­mot­ing men­tal health and ad­dic­tions aware­ness, re­duc­ing stigma and im­prov­ing qual­ity of life,” said Kim Grant, Eastern Health’s re­gional direc­tor of men­tal health and ad­dic­tions – com­mu­nity.

“Our com­mu­nity part­ners will as­sist us as we im­prove ac­cess to men­tal health ser­vices in gen­eral, and de­velop a com­mu­nity ac­tion plan for sui­cide pre­ven­tion, in­ter­ven­tion and post-sui­cide sup­ports.”

The Burin Penin­sula Com­mu­nity Coali­tion for Men­tal Health and Wellness will be aligned with a newly formed Com­mu­nity Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil, which will guide the re­cently es­tab­lished Burin Penin­sula Pri­mary Health Care Ini­tia­tive.

Ac­cess to pri­mary health care will be im­proved with the hir­ing of a nurse prac­ti­tioner at the Ter­renceville Med­i­cal Clinic to pro­vide ser­vice to res­i­dents of the area for two days per week.

“This new pri­mary health­care ini­tia­tive pro­vides in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties with an op­por­tu­nity to part­ner with us, as we iden­tify re­newed pri­or­i­ties and goals on the Burin Penin­sula,” said Kim Green, Eastern Health’s ru­ral health man­ager and se­nior site man­ager at the Burin Penin­sula Health Care Cen­tre.

“All of th­ese new and en­hanced ser­vices are aimed at a trans­formed model of pri­mary health care, which can be sus­tained into the fu­ture for the ben­e­fit of the men, women and chil­dren we serve in this area.”

More in­for­ma­tion on the Burin Penin­sula Pri­mary Health Care Ini­tia­tive and the Burin Penin­sula Com­mu­nity Coali­tion for Men­tal Health and Wellness is avail­able at www. east­ern­health.ca/En­gageUs.

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