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
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
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
“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.”