The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) supporting a provincial budget commitment to develop 75 residential support beds in Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford and Prince Albert for individuals with severe and persistent mental health needs.
The RFP is for 25 intensive support beds and 50 less intensive beds; these resources will support those transitioning from hospital back to the community. The RFP is open to affiliates, private sector partners and community-based organizations.
“The benefits of these support beds are many,” said Colleen Quinlan, Executive Director of Mental Health and Addictions Services, Integrated Urban Health for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. “They will improve the ability of individuals with significant and persistent mental health needs to reside in the community, to manage their symptoms and to achieve their individual goals. They will also reduce hospitalization and length of stay in hospital, and prevent the need to go to emergency departments.”
“Residential supports are a valuable community service for people experiencing mental health challenges,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “More people will be able to access the help they need to manage their mental health challenges. This investment will go a long way in supporting the health and wellness of Saskatchewan residents.”
Individuals who have severe and persistent mental health needs benefit greatly from client-centred services in their community. Without supportive residential options, there can be overutilization of less appropriate resources in the community such as acute mental health beds in general hospitals, emergency room care, emergency shelters and shelters for the homeless or police cells.
Enhanced residential supports are a key recommendation under Saskatchewan’s Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan.