Provincial government announces $1M for transitional mental health care in London

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health John Fraser at a funding announcement in London on Oct. 26, 2017. Jaclyn Carbone/AM980 London

A funding announcement from the provincial government is designed to help mental health patients move seamlessly from hospital care to the community.

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John Fraser, the parliamentary assistant to the minister of health, announced Thursday that the provincial government is investing $1 million to create five new beds to support 100 patients.

“There was a need and an innovative model,” said Fraser.

“It’s ‘let’s try this, we think this will work’ and it’s got the support of the partners in the community. That’s what this investment is all about: community partnerships coming together to find the best way to help people transition from a hospital setting to a community setting.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are partnering on the project. At this point, it’s not clear where the beds will go, but the groups have started building a team and begun looking at potential locations.

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“You don’t want people to have two choices, like ‘you’re either on your own or you’re in the hospital’ — this is a good way to bridge that,” said CMHA Middlesex CEO Beth Mitchell.

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LHSC vice-president of mental health and emergency services, Julie Trpkovski, told AM980 that the funding allows for a change in the model of care and how care is provided to patients.

“Where we see sometimes people fail is if those transitional teams are not in place and then we move the patient out to the community and the community resource struggles a bit, sometimes the family struggles a bit, and the patient comes back to the emergency department.”

The government says the funding will help also reduce emergency room wait times.

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