Innovative Work Leads to Better Mental Health and Addictions Care for Children, Youth and Families

Nova Scotia’s continued improvements of the health care system is seeing considerable returns with regards to mental health and addictions care for children, youth and families.

The progress is evident within the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Particularly within the last four years, an overall 75 per cent increase in
the speed and quality of mental health and addictions care can be attributed to several new practices by the hospital.

Innovative work, such as increased transparency and communication between families, front-line staff and senior staff, and more joint training opportunities, have allowed for young people in emergency care to be seen immediately.

The enhancement in mental health and addictions care services at the IWK are visible when focusing on the assessment results of four core areas: access, quality of care, productivity and staff satisfaction. Ninety-eight per cent of patients and their families have reported
satisfaction with the quality of care, while 82 per cent of those treating them have reported high levels of satisfaction.

An underrated aspect of treatment, appointment attendance, has also seen levels rise to 90 per cent due to changes in the IWK’s referral and intake system, which fills cancelled appointments.

Other treatment resources such as the Nova Scotia Health Authority and a school service called SchoolsPlus, have followed the IWK’s focus and attention to mental health and addictions care.

To reach the 24/7, toll-free provincial Mental Health Crisis Line, please call: 1-888-429-8167.

For more information on the IWK Health Centre, Mental Health and Addictions, please visit: