Fraser Health Authority cuts hours of mental health clinics

Long waits a violation of mental health services consent decree, court master says

Ninety-nine per cent of clients are served during daytime hours, so it is very difficult to justify staff serving a very small number in the evening,” said Denyse Houde, Fraser Health’s director of clinical programs, mental health and substance use. “There’s more demand [during the daytime] than we have capacity for.” In White Rock, Houde said, the evening group meeting is attended by 12 participants, but the clinic has 925 registered clients, the majority of whom visit during the day. The facility also receives 90 new referrals per month. All six clinics will close at 4:30 p.m.
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Clearly the trend is in the wrong direction, although it may be influenced to some extent by the funding uncertainty that accompanies the budget process and the end of the fiscal year.” Guy Cousins, director of the state Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, said a lack of adequate funding is part of the problem and seconded Wathen’s suggestion that it is exacerbated by some service providers who are hesitant to take new clients into programs with uncertain funding. However, money is only part of the problem, Cousins said. Also part of the problem are processes that don’t get people seeking treatment into the mental health system quickly enough. Cousins said a pilot program the state is trying with six service providers shows promising signs of being able to provide people with access to mental health services sooner. He said the change involves streamlining providers’ intake systems to get people treatment sooner, when it is more effective.
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Drop-in therapy: Zoomcare adds mental health, other services

ZoomCare, which was co-founded by Dave Sanders, will be offering ear, nose and throat and mental health services at two clinics.

The specialist, Anna Cox , is a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner who will provide advanced diagnosis, treatment and medication management of mental health issues, the company announced in a release this week. Initially, ZoomCareas mental health service is offered only to adults 18 or older. People suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia or other mental disorders can receive treatment. ZoomCare started as a chain of neighborhood clinics focused on providing innovative customer service in health care. Its clinics offer online scheduling, guaranteed visit times, and a price transparency pledge. The clinics also feature on-site lab and pharmacy services.
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