Crisis Continuum away from and through acute care for children and youth

This Waterloo/Wellington Region crisis continuum of care program works to improve client flow away from and through the acute care hospital system back into the community in a seamless and efficient manner. It is available to children and youth who have been triaged by the Emergency Department as needing non-emergency/urgent community supports and/or respite. Services include: a community emergency diversion team, community respite care (1-5 days), clinical services and step-down community-based transition beds (4-6 week treatment program and coordinated transition home supports). Brief Community mental health service is as an integrated support within 6 different primary care settings in Waterloo Region. It allows for a warm transfer from the client’s physician to brief supports and/or to the best pathway for resource linkage and treatment referrals whether it be through core funded mental health services, or elsewhere.

Presenters and slide deck

Jenni Jackson, Manager, Lutherwood

Jenni has spent most of her career working in the field of Children's Mental health. Holding a number of front line and leadership positions. she is passionate about growth, being trauma informed and wellness promotion for all.

Patricia Patterson, Program Director, Grand River Hospital

Patricia Patterson (pronouns: she/her) has worked in the Human Service field for over 25 years with the last 16 years in healthcare. She is trained as a clinical social worker. She currently provides Director level leadership for the Child and Adolescent and Specialized Mental Health Services, as well as Complex Continuing Care, Rehabilitation and Transitional Care Services at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario. Patricia is recognized as a versatile senior leader who is a strong strategic planner who loves to bring dreams of continuous improvements for patient care to reality!

Kathy Payette, Director, Children’s Mental Health (CMH) Services

Kathy Payette M. Psych., Director, Children’s Mental Health (CMH) Services at Lutherwood, Mental Health Advisor to the Kids’ Health Links Foundation, Chair of the Ministry of Health: CMH Planning Council, member the Wellbeing Waterloo Region Advisory Council, Lead Agency Advisory Council, Waterloo Region Pandemic Planning Group, Child & Youth Planning Table, and an alumni member of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. Kathy has worked with children and families for over 35 years, specializing in the areas of child and adolescent mental health, suicide prevention and crisis intervention. She spent 15 years as a member of the Child and Adolescent inpatient team at Grand River Hospital. Kathy has a strong community lens and has been a catalyst for change in Waterloo Region. Stakeholder relationships have included the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community & Social Services, Ministry of the Attorney General, community agencies, agency staff, families, and youth.


Key Learnings

  • Build and maintain strong relationships
  • Stay nimble and have clear & simple pathways
  • Clarify who is doing what - especially r/t key roles

Thoughts from those with Lived/Living Expertise

What are some of the highlights?

  • Presenters showed case a great partnership and innovative approach between two different sectors, ministries and services. 
  • The presentation shared a cycle of monitoring and controlling throughout the program and its improvements. Quality improvement approaches to holistic mental health care, including evaluation and engagement of and within the program. 

How can information gained be used? 

  • Although the primary target audience for this presentation may be service providers and clinicians, many practitioners can benefit from the findings and adapt them to their environment. In addition, the information can be transfer into plain language for youth and families.

What are the implications?

  • It’s important to improve care pathways in which youth and their families navigate to access mental health care in hospital settings and seeking continuity of care in community settings.
  • It’s crucial to support all involve within care (service providers and service recipients).

What would you like to know more about?

  • More information from a service-users perspective (e.g., youth, family member).

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