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Mental Health Care at Vancouver Coastal Health

Submitted by: Ann Greene, RN, MEd, CPMHN(C) -­‐ VCH Project Manager for Tertiary Mental Health

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is renewing its commitment to excellence in mental health care! Recent announcements include the new Hope Centre, a care and education facility specializing in mental health at Lions Gate Hospital (construction is underway), and a new mental health centre on the Vancouver General Hospital campus, just announced by the Premier of BC in April of this year (opening in 2015). In the meantime, VCH is currently accepting individuals transferring from Riverview Hospital into its Tertiary Mental Health Services in newly renovated spaces at Vancouver General Hospital, Providence Health Care, University of BC Hospital, andGibsons on the Sunshine Coast. “We are very pleased with the organization’s renewed focus on mental health services,” says YasminJetha, Regional Director of Mental Health & Addictions. “Recent developments will help us prepare to take mental health services into the future with purpose­built space, expert knowledge transfer and positive outcomes for the people we serve.”

Values-­driven Care
VCH is readying to care for individuals requiring tertiary resources. Renovations at the Vancouver General Hospital site are moving rapidly toward completion! With other sites in Providence Health Care, and Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast, comprehensive Tertiary Mental Health Services will be available for adults, inclusive of older adults, and their families, locally and closer to home.

These services embrace the values and principles consistent with a Recovery philosophy, which includes autonomy and empowerment, building hope, and living in wellness. Care providers welcome collaboration with clients and families to build on strengths, talents and interests to foster hope, growth, and self-­determination. The program model is person-­centered and strength-­based and aims to support individuals in achieving quality of life by offering a range of evidence‐based clinical services.

To ensure the recovery philosophy is fully embedded in practice, there has been considerable focus on:

  • Building a good space: there are extensive renovations designed to meet the specific care needs of the population, with attention to safety, recovery, and caring
  • Hiring the right care providers: the interprofessional team has been carefully and thoughtfully selected; ongoing education and training will ensure quality care outcomes with this specialized population
  • Support and allied staff: staff and volunteers are considered part of the care team and are included in the holistic planning and delivery of care
  • Developing policies and protocols to support the goals, values and practices: extensive literature search and evidence review has directed this development and implementation.
  • Ensuring a safe and secure environment for all: Violence prevention strategies include ongoing education opportunities and venue-­specific protocols and procedures, while maintaining our commitment to the values and program philosophy of recovery.

Needs­‐based Programs at VCH and PHC
A variety of treatment programs and services will be offered to best meet the needs of this population, which includes individuals with serious mental illnesses whose present psychiatric condition requires resources beyond the scope of primary or secondary mental health services, and who require highly specialized care delivered by specially trained and experienced professional staff.

  • Adult Assessment and Treatment provides in-depth, interprofessional assessment and treatment for adults experiencing acute and complex psychiatric conditions who require a specialized treatment environment.
  • Older Adult Assessment and Treatment provides in-­depth, interdisciplinary assessment and treatment for older adults experiencing acute and complex psychiatric conditions, including behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia that require a specialized and secure treatment environment.
  • Older Adult Intensive Support provides intensive person-centered dementia care to older adults with serious behaviouraland psychological symptoms of dementia.
  • Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) and Trans-­cranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are offered in a purpose‐built suite and available to both inpatients and outpatients.
  • Neuropsychiatry provides behaviour stabilization to adults with a traumatic or non‐traumatic brain injury co-­occurring with a psychiatric condition and challenging behaviours, with the goal to optimize functional abilities and increase quality of life.
  • Self­‐Induced Water Intoxication program provides psychosocial rehabilitation for individuals living with serious mental illnesses requiring a specialized, long‐term residential environment due to behaviours related to self-­induced water intoxication.
  • Intensive Tertiary Rehabilitation provides specialized psychosocial rehabilitation services to individuals who require a secure treatment environment for chronic high­‐risk behaviours.
  • Adult Rehabilitation provides psychosocial rehabilitation for individuals living with serious mental illnesses requiring specialized, long-term (6-­24 months) treatment environment in order to increase their capacity to be successful and satisfied in the living, working, learning and social environments of their choice.
  • Adult Rehabilitation and Residential provides psychosocial rehabilitation for individuals living with serious mental illnesses who require a specialized, long-term residential environment. Length of stay is unique for each individual and not time­‐limited.

Vancouver General Hospital’s Willow Pavilion hosts a community centre, coffee shop, and education centre. The focus is on inviting an open connection with the VGH campus community, neighbouring community, and clients and family.

Be a part of it!
If you are interested in learning more about these innovative and creative services, please see our advertisement on the CFMHN webpage: Job Opportunities Or contact:

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