Mental Health and Wellness ServicesFollowing the findings of the Mental Health and Social Wellness Project, more commonly called the Community Needs Assessment, The Associate Clinic has established a mental health counselling and support services navigation system and has improved mental health care services at the primary care level.
Mental health and social services navigation system:
This system, led by a Registered Social Worker with more than 12 years field experience, helps patients either in crisis or with medical situations that are affected by their social environment. She helps them access the sometimes bewildering variety of government social and health-related safety networks.
Patients, and their families, if useful, are seen by the social worker, jointly with their physician or with the Good Health Team. They work to ensure patients know what services or financial supports exist, whether they are eligible for those services, what the costs may be, how those costs can be met and whether those services are available locally or outside the community. So, for example, patients will have help accessing addictions support, depression screening, parenting support, medication funding.
This service can often help round out medical treatment for chronic diseases, since patients with chronic diseases are often battling mental illness. This collaborative approach ensures that mental health will be treated in the chronic disease environment and also ensures that chronic disease symptoms are not ignored in the mental health environment, and has led to improved patient outcomes.