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Alexandra Monteith (L) and Shae Salonen (R), addiction and mental health staff members at Horizon’s Chalmers Hospital.

Virtual care available for patients with mental distress

By News May 11, 2023 | 6:01 AM

The Horizon Health Network has introduced virtual consultations for patients with mental distress who arrive at one of its emergency rooms provincewide.

A statement released by the health authority on Wednesday said virtual care with an addiction and mental health team or with a psychiatrist is now available 24/7 as an alternative to in-person sessions.

Horizon said patients will be assessed in a timely manner by the care team at the emergency room.

Patients and health care providers will then together determine when a virtual consultation with a psychiatrist is appropriate.

“I am excited to announce that our teams are standing by to offer anyone with mental distress who comes to an Emergency Department with an immediate, reliable, and secure virtual consultation with one of our psychiatrists who are generally based in regional hospitals,” said Dr. Anthony Njoku, Clinical Department Head, Department of Psychiatry, Fredericton Area.

“This has been a major collaborative effort between hospitals’ emergency department staff, addiction and mental health staff, and physicians, and I am proud of every local team’s work in successfully launching this initiative across all areas of Horizon,” said Steve Savoie, Executive Regional Director, Co-Leader of Emergency Care.

This initiative started last August at Fredericton’s Chalmers Hospital and proved successful which prompted the rollout to other Horizon hospitals.


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