Once mental health hub is operational, St. Paul’s predicts it can bring down 10,500 mental health or addiction visits annually to just over 5,000.
Last week, Vancouver City Council voted to pitch in $1 million dollars to help St. Paul’s Hospital create a new mental health hub, which will help ER visitors arriving with mental health or addiction issues get out of the regular ER and into a separate stream geared to their needs.
If you’ve ever been to an Emergency Room and suffered a long uncomfortable wait, you might want to send a little thank you card or tweet of appreciation to city council for making the wise decision to support this innovative idea.
In the mental health hub, patients will be connected to community supports like temporary housing, counselling and rehab. After seeing medical staff, they’ll have a place to compose themselves. They’ll have the space to make some calls and perhaps arrange for family or a friend to come take them home. Notably, they’ll also have access to peer support, a chance to speak with someone who once stood in their shoes.