The Champlain LHIN's health system planning and funding functions are now part of Ontario Health, a government agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians continue to receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.
Mental Health & Addictions
The Champlain LHIN is working with providers across the region to integrate mental health and addictions services. The goals are to ensure:
- People receive better coordinated care across multiple providers.
- People will be able to find the services they need more easily, through centralized points of access.
- All providers use common screening and assessment tools so people receive more streamlined care across multiple services.
- Youth will be able to easily transition to adult services.
- A stronger partnership with primary care providers so they are equipped to connect their patients to the services they need.
In 2017-18, the Champlain LHIN advanced a number of priorities to improve mental health and addictions services so that people could receive more coordinated care:
For many people with severe and persistent mental health problems, unstable housing situations are a significant barrier to their recovery. To help address this need, the Champlain LHIN led addictions and community mental health partners in each sub-region to work together to provide new supports to clients with the highest-needs through a single, coordinated access process. As a result, 84 more individuals are receiving rent supplements to ensure safe, stable and affordable housing, along with intensive case management and supportive counselling.
For some individuals with acute, persistent mental health problems, hospital-based (inpatient) services are essential. After significant patient engagement conducted by hospital leaders, the LHIN and its partners completed the Champlain LHIN Inpatient Mental Health and Addictions Capacity Plan (Summary and Technical Report) which forms the basis of a new regional program. The program facilitates hospital transfers and manages surges in hospital admissions for people with mental health issues and addictions.
- Expanding Addictions Treatment
Across the region, the LHIN increased treatment services to meet the growing needs of people with opioid addictions. These expanded services included:
- a program for pregnant and parenting women
- support for people in hospital emergency rooms
- opioid treatment training and organizational capacity-building
- other programs for harm reduction, prevention and health promotion.
As a result, 1,000 more people received quicker access to opioid case-management and treatment.
To better coordinate people’s access to mental health and addiction services, and in the midst of the opioid crisis, the Champlain LHIN worked with addictions providers to implement rapid triage, screening, assessment, and access to treatment services within 24 to 48 hours. For youth and families facing opioid-related challenges, four rapid-access opioid treatment locations were set up across Ottawa, in partnership with Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services and Montfort Renaissance. Nearly 1,100 people and their families accessed this enhanced approach to care.
The Champlain LHIN provided funding to expand the Rapid Access Addictions Medicine (RAAM) Clinic at Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and add a new RAAM Clinic at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. These clinics offer services for individuals who need assistance with alcohol and opioid use challenges. Since these individuals often go to Ottawa hospital emergency rooms, channels were established so that patients could be immediately referred to the clinics. People can also access the clinics through walk-in services at the Sandy Hill and The Royal locations. More than 700 people benefitted from these services.
The LHIN also supported the expansion of the Managed Opioid Program for homeless and street-involved adults at Ottawa Inner City Health. This program offers addiction treatment, opioid overdose prevention and harm reduction services in a primary care environment. As a result, nearly 100 people received these intensive and timely services.
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- Improving Care with More Pathways to Primary Care Providers
Improved integration between providers of primary care and mental health and addictions services is crucial to ensure people who have addictions and mental health challenges get the help they need. The LHIN addressed this need by funding a new nurse practitioner at Montfort Renaissance’s Ottawa Addictions Access and Referral Service. This means that clients could receive opioid-substitution treatment during their first contact, often within 24 to 48 hours. Having the nurse practitioner also meant increased access to this kind of addictions medicine support for individuals needing residential addiction treatment by providing primary care services on site and even before admission.
Linking Primary Care with Mental Health and Addictions Resources
When caring for people who need mental health and addictions services, primary care providers in our region have identified two main issues: knowing what supports are available, and how to navigate the health system to find those resources.
To address these concerns, the LHIN developed a resource map, below, with input from the Champlain Primary Care Advisory Council. Part of the LHIN’s efforts to engage with primary care providers, the Council advises the LHIN on primary care strategies for health system improvements.
Primary Care Resource Map for Mental Health and Addictions Services
This map identifies key access points that can connect you to care partners, but it is not an exhaustive list. More comprehensive resources are available through Champlain Healthline.
Regarding patient care: if s/he already has a connection to a care partner, you may connect directly with the care partner. As well, if you know which specific service s/he needs, you may refer your patient directly to that service.