TORONTO, November 27, 2018 – Marking National Addictions Awareness Week, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is proud to announce the successful implementation of a new, streamlined outpatient service for clients with addiction and other psychiatric disorders.
COMPASS (the Concurrent Outpatient Medical Psychosocial Addiction Support Service) is a merger of three previously existing services that now ensures clients are connected to the right service for them within a week. This is enabled by an initial triage approach conducted by a Registered Nurse that can sometimes see clients referred to treatment like the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) within a day or two.
“The integration of these services into a single entity enables more consistent care supported by the latest research,” says Dr. Bernard Le Foll, Medical Head of COMPASS. “One of the biggest challenges we have in addiction care right now is the question as to when you initiate psychiatric care. Some clients will require that at entry or they will not improve, while others just need addiction care. This system will allow us to take mental health issues into consideration in our treatment plans in a more robust and comprehensive way.”
The COMPASS clinical team includes addiction medicine specialists, as well as psychiatrists, nurses and social workers who provide individualized medical and psychosocial interventions to deal with all facets of treatment for clients, including those dealing simultaneously with addiction and mental health concerns. Approximately 3,000 new clients a year come into CAMH Addiction Services for treatment, primarily through COMPASS.
The range of services clients can now access through COMPASS includes:
- Collaborative assessment by a physician along with a nurse or social worker
- Group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Maintenance therapies for cannabis, alcohol, opioid and other stimulant use disorders
- Naloxone opioid overdose antidote kits
- Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM), a clinic that provides walk-in access, five days a week, for people with urgent addiction concerns.
“By streaming clients with substance use disorders through one standardized intake and assessment process we are helping to create a better experience for clients,” says COMPASS Manager Shannon Greene. “One front-door is providing them with access to a team that can offer support in treatment planning across the Acute Care Program’s addiction and concurrent disorder services, minimizing duplication.”
ABOUT THE CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.
Media Relations, CAMH
416-535-8501 ext. 36663