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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Taking Outpatient Care outside of 9 to 5

Last fall, Ali, a client in Forensic Outpatient Services, misplaced his prescription. The After Hours Clinic for outpatients in the Complex Mental Illness (CMI) Program, which recently opened its doors, was able to help Ali get another prescription, ensuring he wasn’t without medication over the weekend.

Ali says providing after hours treatment care and support makes life a lot easier. “It’s good”, he says.  “It gives more time for people who work during the day to come in for their medication.” 

After hours clinic client with staff

CAMH client Ali helps celebrate the launch of CAMH's Complex Mental Illness After Hours Clinic with staff members (L-R): Mike Haswell, Elizabeth Holmes,  Heather Elash,  Melissa McCormick,  Modest Rutembesa, Anissa Lamb and Catherine Skene

 

The CMI program opened the After Hours Clinic in September 2013 to meet the growing demand for services outside regular business hours.

“Clients’ lives and needs do not stop at five p.m. or stay contained in our Monday to Friday work days,“ says CMI Executive Director Jim McNamee.

“In fact, research has shown that often clients seek after hours support in emergency departments because community resources and agencies have traditionally not been open on weekends or evenings.”

The After Hours Clinic is staffed by clinicians from CMI outpatient clinics who provide crisis management, support and community visits.  Housed on the first floor of Unit One (located at the Queen Street site), it’s open weekdays from 4:30 to 8 p.m., weekends and statutory holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The move to better coordinate and organize some of the CAMH outpatient mental health clinics began in the fall of 2012 with goals of increasing clients’ access to our services, better matching of client care needs with level of care received, offering consistent resources and group programming across clinics, and a mindful focus on recovery and supporting clients in their community.

“These goals demonstrate that the changes we want to make are more than administrative.  It is about transforming the culture and philosophy of how we deliver our services to our clients. Everyone has been incredibly dedicated to this change process and has worked extremely hard to ensure improved client care stays our priority,” says Jim McNamee.

There are plans to set up weekend and evening programming which may include groups and workshops such as creative arts, stress management, life skills and family education.

“The transformation is just beginning,” says Dianna Cochrane, CMI Deputy Admin Director for Outpatient & Specialty and Court Services. “The next step is to focus on matching client care needs to appropriate levels of care. There are plans for Assertive Community Treatment Teams and a Transition Clinic that would assist and support family physicians to better support our clients in their recovery in the community.”



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