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Wait Times Decreasing With Addition Of New Therapy Model

By News Jan 9, 2023 | 12:57 PM

Jessica Dufour Ouellet, Clinical Lead OAAT, Child & Youth Teams, Zone 1B (Photo: Vitalite health network

A new approach to mental health and addiction services for children, youth and families from Vitalite Health Network.

The Network says this one-at-a-time therapy model, also known as single-session therapy is improving accessibility.

Previously, clients went through an information collection and assessment process before being added to a wait list until services were available.

The Network says the process has been streamlined and therapeutic intervention is now offered at first contact.

The number of patients on the wait list within Vitalité Health Network decreased by 66% from May to November 2022.

Carole Gallant, Regional Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services for Children and Youth says, “The key is to prioritize early access to care and recognize that significant change can occur during a single session. The goals of the moment are addressed, and the client leaves with a plan. Early intervention can prevent more serious mental health and addiction issues.”

This service can be provided on a walk-in basis or by appointment. The session can take place in person, via videoconference, or by phone.

The Network has 14 Child-Youth Teams comprised of nurses, social workers and psychologists. More than 400 education and health professionals received training and nine social worker positions were added to deliver this new model developed at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Participation in this intervention model significantly reduced feelings of anxiety and concern for most children, youth and families,” says Gallant. “Early intervention and quick access to services are critical components of risk reduction and suicide prevention.”


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