5.5 COMMUNITY TREATMENT SERVICES

MENTAL ILLNESS

Key Messages

Community Treatment Services for mental health occupy an important place in the mental health system. The role of community treatment in the prevention of acute emergency department presentations could be enhanced through stronger collaboration with health care settings and dedicated resources to bridge the gap between referral and treatment for non-crisis services.

“Accessing mental health services has saved my life. If I hadn’t gone for help, I’d either not be alive or I’d be living a life of profound turmoil and sadness. DBT, CBT, Music Therapy, one-on-one sessions, groups, online forums, Wikipedia, Facebook, and crisis lines are the things that have helped me through rough patches time and time again.”

– Community Member

“Mental health services have made a world of difference to my transgender child, who is much happier now.”

– Parent

“Accessing these services has definitely made things better for me.  My life is under control and I am actually able to live alone and see my son.  Thank you.”

– Community Member

“Accessing mental health services has made things better for my coping. It has allowed me to recognize my triggers, episodes and weaknesses. It has allowed me to put anxiety and fear aside and concentrate on my future.”

– Community Member

“ADVOCACY. Our clients (for the most part) cannot speak for themselves to clearly identify what supports they require. Without our support, we see them often “falling between the cracks” and going without essential care simply because the system is designed to turn people away.”

– Mental health care worker

“Being witness to successful and positive outcomes is a valuable component of the work we do, as this keeps us motivated. By believing in the work we do, we continue to pass along hope, optimism and confidence to our clients.”

– Adult mental health care worker

Community Mental Health Service Use

While there are several community agencies with programs and services related to mental health and mental illness, there are two agencies in Lambton that offer the majority of general community-based services related to mental illness.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton-Kent branch (CMHA) provides services primarily for adults. The following provides a snapshot of clients receiving services in Lambton between May 1, 2017 and March 28, 2018.

CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION – LAMBTON-KENT BRANCH

The Canadian Mental Health Association – Lambton-Kent branch (CMHA) provides services primarily for adults. The following provides a snapshot of clients receiving services at the Sarnia location between May 1, 2017 and March 28, 2018.

2724
CLIENTS RECEIVED SERVICE IN 2017/2018

Client Age Group (%)

Top 3 Diagnosis

MOOD DISORDERS
0
SCHIZOPHRENIA & OTHER PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS
0
ANXIETY DISORDERS
0

Top 3 Services Accessed

CRISIS INTERVENTION (2012)
0
CASE MANAGEMENT (765)
0
COUNSELLING & TREATMENT (549)
* 12% present with housing support needs
0

Source: Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton-Kent Branch

ST. CLAIR CHILD & YOUTH SERVICES

St. Clair Child and Youth Services (SCCYS) provides prevention, assessment and treatment options for children and youth from birth to 18 years. The following provides a snapshot of clients receiving services at St. Clair Child and Youth Services or through SCCYS-funded programs  (Huron House Boys Home, Sarnia-Lambton Rebound).

Similar to emergency department visits, anxiety was a common problem among Lambton children and youth presenting for community mental health services.

1529
CLIENTS RECEIVED SERVICE IN 2016/2017

Number of Children and youth accessing St. Clair Child and Youth Services, 2016/17

By Age

Most Common Presenting Problems

While emergency department data provide a look at serious self-harm incidents and suicide attempts, community data show that a larger number of children have early warning signs, such as suicidal thoughts. In 2016, there were 55 self-harm related emergency department visits (45 unique patients) among those 19 years and under , yet 295 individuals presented to SCCYS with suicidal thoughts.

These data also capture problems that would not typically be a cause for attending the emergency department or being admitted to hospital. For example, over 500 children and youth presented with “emotional dysregulation”. Prompt attention to and support for these early symptoms may help to prevent future mental illness and highlights the role of early access to community services in the prevention and treatment of mental illness.

“St Clair Child and Youth has been a great resource but they are restricted in how much they can offer due to lack of funding.”

– Parent

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QUALITY OF TREATMENT SERVICES