By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
A third partner has joined Northumberland Hills Hospital and Rebound Child and Youth Services to expand counselling capacity and reduce wait times at NHH Community Mental Health Services.
Community Health Services of Northumberland has joined this long-standing partnership, increasing both capacity of services and counselling available during hours of operation – including expediting treatment options for young people aged seven to 18 seeking mental-health resources, while eliminating potential barriers to accessing these supports.
The walk-in clinic at 1011 Elgin St. (Suite 200) in Cobourg will continue to serve adults and youth Tuesdays (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Thursdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) with no referral required (though young people aged seven to 11 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that mental-health problems and illnesses affect more Canadians than some of the major physical disorders. In any given year, one in five experience a mental-health problem or illness and 70% say symptoms started in childhood.
Walk-in sessions are booked on a first-come-first-served basis. After leaving a message on the walk-in line (905-377-7784), a staff member will return a client’s call to determine suitability for walk-in services and book a time slot for an appointment with a counsellor from NHH, Rebound or CHCN.
Individuals may also walk in in person to request a same-day session. In the event that crisis or in-patient hospital support is required (or if additional referrals are needed), this will be co-ordinated.
There is no limit to how many times a client may access the walk-in counselling clinic, the announcement said, and NHH continues to offer long-term counselling and group support.
NHH President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Walsh said the true benefit of this expanded partnership will be felt by Northumberland residents, especially those in need of mental-health services.
“Through collaborative partnerships, we are continuing to increase mental-health resources for individuals who will no longer need to leave their home communities to access these supports,” Walsh said.
“This expansion will continue to ensure that clients are being seen in the right programs at the right time. We will be able to support more people each week, and decrease the barriers to accessing necessary mental-health supports.”
Rebound Executive Director Nicole Wood said their clients will benefit from the additional services made possible through an integrated approach.
“This partnership will further improve care for transitional-aged youth, helping to keep them connected and engaged in services when moving from the youth system to adult services,” Wood stated.
“CHCN sees this partnership with NHH Community Mental Health Services and Rebound Child and Youth Services as a way to further support Northumberland County residents by expanding walk-in availability for those who have immediate counselling needs,” CHCN Executive Director Taryn Rennicks added.
“The team at CHCN is looking forward to collaborating on this extremely valuable service to enhance mental-health supports in the community, while helping to further reduce barriers to those who experience them when accessing services.”
Information on the walk-in counselling clinic can be found on the websites of all three agencies.