New mental-health program aids patients’ recovery

A new short-term recovery mental health program has been launched in Ottawa and with 32 patients, it’s already at full capacity.

“These are folks that are either in hospital or headed for hospital,” Champlain LHIN CEO Alex Munter said at an Ottawa Sun editorial board meeting Wednesday.

Located at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, the program provides life skills training and guidance through access to nurses, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, personal care attendants, and a social worker.

“The emphasis now is on recovery,” said renowned heart surgeon Dr. Wilbert Keon, who’s the voluntary chair of the Champlain LHIN board .

Clients stay roughly six months and take part in job-skills training, wellness seminars, exercise, and cooking classes.

They’re admitted through hospitals across the region or from home through community agencies. The wait time is one month.

The program provides care for people who would otherwise fall through the cracks, Munter said.

Teaming up with local health care institutions to develop such programs is just one of the reasons to keep LHINs intact, said Keon.

“The solution to good health comes from healthy communities. To get it, you have to have the local interaction,” Keon said, adding face-to-face feedback is key.

“You can’t get it from a building on Bay St. in Toronto.”

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/07/13/new-mental-health-program-aids-patients-recovery

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