December 5, 2018 1:01 pm

Sask. doctors building skills for treating youth with mental health conditions

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said a new program will better equip the province’s doctors to meet the mental health care needs of children and youth.

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A new program from the REACH Institute will help Saskatchewan doctors build their skills in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions in children and youth.

It’s being launched in Saskatoon by the continuing medical education division at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

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“The program has the potential to significantly support the mental health of children and youth by enhancing general physicians’ skills to intervene early in psychiatric concerns,” Dr. Marilyn Baetz, the U of S department head of psychiatry, said in a press release.

“This will support more immediate active treatment, potentially reducing wait times for patients, and may even mean the child or youth when treated early will not need more specialized care.”

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Twenty-five physicians from across the province will begin an interactive course at the beginning of December. Following the three-day session, doctors will take part in a case-based distance learning program over a six-month period to continue their training.

Four psychiatrists, one pediatrician, and four family doctors are also working towards certification through the REACH Institute to deliver the course to more Saskatchewan physicians.

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The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is providing $400,000 for the Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care program through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Funding Agreement.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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