April 29, 2015 - 2:29 PM
PENTICTON - A new outreach centre planned for Penticton will make mental health services more accessible for the people who need it most.
Interior Health announced plans Wednesday, April 29, to relocate an outreach program that helps connect clients with physicians and other health services.
The Martin Street Outreach Centre, located at 437 Martin St., is expected to open its doors to clients May 15 and will provide expanded primary care services for community members suffering from mental health and substance use issues, who don’t have access to primary care through traditional means.
“The centre will be there for a more marginalized clientele,” Interior Health Community Mental Health Substance Abuse Programs Manager Joseph Savage explains. “The services available at 437 Martin St. will not be available to everyone. The centre will help reduce a barrier for much of the clientele, who live in the downtown area, by making more services available to them in their neighbourhood."
The new centre will operate within the existing budget, with no increases planned.
The current program, located out of the Penticton Health Centre, offers a collaborative program consisting of a group of local general practice physicians and Interior Health personnel who assist clients with mental health and substance abuse issues access services. Once the Martin Street centre opens, clients will have access five days per week to physicians and integrated care. Savage said the centre is designed to be a 'one stop model' providing a mix of outreach and medical services, including opportunities for clients to book medical appointments.
Interior Health Board Chair Erwin Malzer says many of the individuals needing the service had chronic mental health issues with complex care needs requiring consistent monitoring and management. He says with better access to these facilities clients will get the health support they need in order to control their illnesses and avoid sudden trips to emergency or hospital admissions.
The centre will also house programs such as the Community Crisis Response Team, a Stop HIV nurse and other services. Counselling, psychiatry and life skills training will also be made available.
A community open house is planned for later this summer.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015