STOLLERY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
TRANSFORMING PEDIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH CARE
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED TO DATE
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED IN 2022
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED IN 2021
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED IN 2020
HOSPITAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Thanks for donors like Family of Support, The Stollery Children’s Hospital is providing round-the-clock critical mental health care to children, youth and families as well as increased access to timely non-emergency support. Due to difficulties accessing early mental health interventions, many young patients and their families end up turning to Emergency Departments (EDs). As the only specialized pediatric ED in central and northern Alberta, Stollery receives many of these cases – seeing approximately 2,500 kids and teens each year.
Although we have a 24/7 crisis team ready to respond to patients experiencing mental health emergencies, we are also working to adapt our team and service approach in order to meet non-emergency needs in a timely way – all while easing strain on the hospital. A key aspect of this work is to develop a multidisciplinary mental health team that’s integrated into the Stollery ED – ready to give patients the immediate care they need, and redirect them toward non-emergency Funds from Family of Support and others has enabled. Support from Empire and others has enabled us to hire enough licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to provide 24/7 coverage, as well as a social worker, a registered psychiatric nurse, a mental health therapist and a clinical nurse educator.
An important strength of the Family of Support initiative is grounded in the trust The Sobey Foundation and Empire Company Limited have shown for children’s hospitals by empowering them to allocate funds to the areas they see as most urgent.
The Stollery Children’s Hospital has continued its work to transform pediatric mental health care in Alberta this year. In 2021, the Stollery made a range of important strides, including the opening of a new mental health walk-in clinic and the creation of a new outpatient psychiatry clinic. This year, these advances have begun to deliver benefits: since January 2022, for example, 10% of children presenting to the ED with mental health concerns were successfully diverted at triage to the Stollery mental health walk-in clinic. This diversion rate signals effective and appropriate screening of young people at low risk or who do not need psychiatric care; the result is effective care for the “diverted” patients at the walk-in clinic, and freed-up capacity for young people with more serious needs. All other aspects of the transformation also continue, including capacity-building led by our clinical nurse educator, who facilitated 39 education sessions for a total of 527 professionals in 2022, and the operation of our new Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, which saw 168 new consults last year.