JIM PATTISON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
MENTAL HEALTH INTENSIVE CARE ROOM
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED IN 2021
28% HOSPITAL PROGRAMS
HOSPITAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The first contact many children and families have with mental health services is in a hospital emergency department. Reliance on emergency departments tends to increase when young people are not able to access timely care – a challenge that thousands of young people and families across Canada have been confronting in recent years, especially since mental health needs have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Saskatoon, there are 800 children on the waitlist to see a child psychiatrist.
Even as care providers work hard to intervene earlier and prevent more young people from reaching a state of mental health crisis, the current reality is that many young people experiencing acute mental health challenges turn to the Emergency Department at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital for short-stay crisis care. When they do, it’s vital that we provide them with a safe, supportive care environment. Thanks in part to generous support from Sobeys, the hospital operates a Mental Health Intensive Care Room in the emergency department to provide a secure, calming environment for children and youth in crisis.
The Mental Health Intensive Care Room in the Emergency Room (ER) at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital first opened in September 2019. Since that time, it has undergone further modifications to enhance its suitability for young people in mental health crisis, including those at elevated risk for self-harm. The modifications have added further protections for patients, staff and the department. Design adaptations have included:
- Door modifications to allow crisis access, as well as improved observation and communication during non-crisis periods;
- Live cameras and new security processes to support continuous monitoring of the patient;
- Installation of ‘panic strips’: easily accessible emergency buttons that can immediately alert others to a crisis in the room;
- Addition of a specially designed assessment bed, secured to the floor and without moving parts, to reduce risk of harm;
- New protocols for all areas and staff.
This dedicated environment – the physical space itself as well as the observation and care protocols that guide its use – not only improves patients’ experience by providing comfort and privacy at a stressful time, it also often means they need less medication and are at lower risk of self-harm.