Abbotsford – Recognizing that the Emergency Department can be an overwhelming environment for a person in crisis, Fraser Health will be opening a new emergency area for Mental Health and Substance Use patients at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Designed specifically for people who arrive at the hospital with mental health or substance use concerns, the unit will provide a low-stimulus, therapeutic and secure space for a person to receive specialized assessment, treatment and care.
“The opening of a new emergency area for Mental Health and Substance Use patients in Abbotsford is an important example of providing care to people in crisis in a setting that addresses their needs with empathy and respect,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “This new area will complement recent investments Fraser Health has made in mental health in the community.”
“It is very difficult to see a loved one struggle with mental health or substance use,” said Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong. “This funding is just part of our overall strategy to make treatment for these concerns a priority.”
“Mental health and substance use are issues of concern throughout North America and B.C. is at the forefront of efforts to address these needs,” said Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas. “This purpose built space will handle the intake of these vulnerable patients as well as ensure people discharged are connected to the appropriate community services.”
“We’re taking action on a number of fronts and this specialized space will give Abbotsford an appropriate setting to treat to those who arrive in Emergency in crisis,” said Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson.
Slated to open in the summer of 2017, the emergency area will be located adjacent to the current Emergency Department and will feature its own nursing station, consult rooms, stretcher bays and seclusion spaces.
“We know that people who visit our Emergency Department in crisis require a calm, compassionate environment that addresses their needs quickly and effectively,” said Valerie Spurrell, executive director, Abbotsford Regional Hospital. “The emergency area for Mental Health and Substance Use patients will provide focused, supportive care to people when they are at their most vulnerable and create a safer environment for patients and staff.”
Fraser Health has also recently invested in community mental health and substance use resources in Abbotsford, including the creation of the Marshall Road Residence with 50 beds to support mental health clients and new hospital community liaison teams to provide enhanced support to people who have been discharged from hospital.
Recognizing that the number of individuals arriving at Abbotsford Regional Hospital with mental health or substance use concerns has increased, the new emergency area will provide a secure environment to support those in crisis.
The area will be staffed by emergency physicians and emergency psychiatric nurses and supported by psychiatrists to assess and treat any mental health, substance use and physical concerns a person might have. If required, a person can be admitted to a psychiatric unit or, if they are stabilized, discharged and connected to community mental health services.