By Marianne Curtis
South Eastman Health is excited that within the next year, residents from the region could see a new crisis stabilization unit constructed in the region, specifically in Steinbach. This comes after the province recently released its Mental Health Strategic Plan earlier in July.
South Eastman Health has been appealing to the Province for a Crisis Stabilization Unit since 2008. At the time a coalition group fighting for a facility in the community claimed that the community Mobile Crisis Unit was handling over two hundred calls per month. Some clients were seen locally while others were transferred out of the community where services were more readily available.
South Eastman Health CEO John Stinson is pleased with the announcement.
“Right now people are being shipped off to either Selkirk or Winnipeg to a crisis stabilization unit or they go into an acute care bed at the hospital which is not an ideal solution,” Stinson explained. “A crisis stabilization unit has staff trained to deal with situations and it provides the best possible care for the situation.”
The five year strategic plan will see more than $400,000 invested in mental health initiatives including treatment and prevention in the region.
“South Eastman is recognized for our great health care and the fact that our residents are healthier than in other areas of the province but in mental health we are not,” Stinson continued. “We’ve really put an emphasis on addressing challenges through increased funding to our mental health program, we have a crisis unit, and now we’re going to have a crisis stabilization unit so.”
South Eastman Health intends on establishing the new unit in a free standing building along Main Street in Steinbach. It will have six rooms so that people that need a few days to re-stabilize themselves, get support from professionals and still be close to family. It is expected to be up and running in early 2012.
Currently there are three Crisis Units in Winnipeg, one in Selkirk and one in the Winkler area.