New mental health day program available at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria

New mental health day program available at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria

A new program aimed at preventing or reducing the length of hospital visits for mental health is now available at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

The program, called Bridging Care, is a short-term program aimed at teaching people struggling with anxiety, depression or trauma skills and providing transitional supports to them. It launched in April 2023.

“Bridging Care supports people experiencing a mental health crisis related to anxiety, depression or trauma and who have challenges regulating emotions or coping with distress,” Dr. Wei Song, executive medical director of mental health and substance use for Island Health said.

“The program equips clients with the skills and strategies they need to learn more about their illness and how to manage it, and provides them with strategies to pursue their recovery goals.”

The mental health program can accommodate up to 15 people at a time for an average duration of four weeks each at the Eric Martin Pavilion at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Those attending the program will need to be referred by a health professional. Admission is based on suitability and the patient’s ability and willingness to attend the program Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“When you’re facing serious mental health challenges, getting the right help at the right time is crucial. Hospital stays aren’t always the best or only option,” said Jennifer Whiteside, minister of mental health and addictions.

“The new Bridging Care program in Victoria offers a different path. It’s a welcoming place where people can build skills to better manage their mental health, and a kind team of professionals is there to guide them. This paves the way for a smoother recovery journey.”

The program will cost $1.4 million per year to run.

Treatments offered at the program include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, group-based recovery, life skills, movement, yoga, art, mindfulness, goal setting, art therapy and other therapies and supports.

As part of the program, participants will attend daily groups, participate in discussions and practice skills. Outside of the group work, participants will try the new skills, complete homework, receive 1:1 counselling and have access to nursing and psychiatry.

Since Bridging Care launched, 104 people have been admitted and 77 have completed the program.

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Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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