Mental health-related hospital visits dropping: report (St. Paul's Hospital)

A partnership between Vancouver police and Vancouver Coastal Health has resulted in fewer mental health patients requiring emergency health and police services.

Over the past three years, there has been a 40-per-cent reduction in emergency room visits for the 300 people receiving help from one of the city’s five multi-disciplinary Assertive Community Treatment teams (ACT).

The Mayor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Addictions was set up in September, 2014, to deal with the “crisis” of people living in Vancouver with mental health and addiction issues. At the time the task force was formed, a report noted that there had been a 43-per-cent increase in emergency mental health visits at St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General between 2009 and 2013. There were also 2,000 single-room occupancy tenants receiving no care for mental health and addiction problems.

Kim Pemberton reports.

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