THE LEARNING LINK
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED IN 2021
24% HOSPITAL PROGRAMS
HOSPITAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
To address a widespread need for increased access to addiction and mental health support across our region, the IWK Health Centre is developing The Learning Link, a hub of expertise for Nova Scotian and Maritime mental health clinicians and community partners. The Learning Link is helping mental health clinicians share knowledge with one another, and train community partners across the region and beyond. By supporting this work, Sobey support is helping to extend and enhance the network of support available to clients and families, connecting them more quickly with high-quality care.
The Learning Link is helping to create a Maritime mental health landscape where:
- Children, youth and families can access timely, high-quality, evidence-based mental health and addictions services wherever they live.
- Decision-making is informed by evidence.
- Information-sharing drives innovation and evidence-based improvement.
- Care practices are enhanced through expert observation, evaluation and feedback.
- Mental health providers learn from new initiatives and consider their fit for wider adoption.
With the social isolation, financial pressures on families and loss of school structure, the mental health of kids and families have suffered and demand for mental health treatment has grown dramatically.
While working to meet these increased needs, we have continued to roll out as many of our planned training and capacity-building activities as possible, training 471 clinical staff and delivering 239 Learning Link training sessions. However, the spike in demand for care did affect our training activities across Nova Scotia, as our specialists prioritized the immediate and acute needs of children and youth over the (also urgent) work of building future capacity.
Nevertheless, we did continue to develop the tools and relationships for future training and collaboration initiatives. We acquired or developed supportive technologies to enable distance learning – including interactive smart boards (installed in nine community locations to aid virtual case consultations and clinical supervision) and a clinical knowledge management system (KMS), which will serve as a hub to store, share and access clinical information, tools and resources. Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions also identified the need for a virtual interactive learning platform to support IWK-developed learning modules. This platform will allow clinicians to access teaching sessions, clinical learning modules and videos to enhance clinical expertise and practice.
Even as we’ve made substantial gains in virtual and distance learning and collaboration, we also remained focused on identifying and outfitting a physical home for the Learning Link’s team and activities. We’re in the final stages of procuring a new space and we expect to begin renovations in the late spring of 2022.