The Saskatchewan Health Authority is pleased to announce the opening of a new adult mental health short stay unit at Royal University Hospital (RUH) this week in Saskatoon.
“Our government is committed to strengthening and expanding mental health and addictions services in Saskatchewan,” Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health Everett Hindley said. “This new unit will help to address pressures and wait times for individuals in need of immediate intervention and support. It provides an appropriate therapeutic space for patients in urgent need of mental health care while community supports are being arranged.”
Initial funding to cover capital renovation costs for the unit was $1.1 million. A further $1.55 million in annual funding to support operations has been provided by the Province beginning in 2019-20. The new permanent seven-bed unit was created within vacant space after the new RUH adult emergency department opened. Construction of the unit began in August 2020, after a slight delay due to the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic in March 2020.
One of the seven beds in the new Adult Mental Health Short Stay Unit at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.
The unit is staffed by two nurses providing 24/7 coverage, two Continuing Care Aides providing 16 hours/day coverage and security services. Dedicated Psychiatry is on-site five days/week on a rotational basis with evenings and weekends covered by a psychiatrist on-call.
“We would like to thank the Government of Saskatchewan and Royal University Hospital Foundation for their ongoing commitment and support in helping our teams deliver exceptional patient care and make mental health a priority,” said SHA’s CEO Scott Livingstone. “And thank-you to the dedicated team who has been working so tirelessly to create a therapeutic environment for persons affected by an acute mental health condition requiring a short admission to hospital. This new space will be conducive to adult short stay mental health treatment and recovery, and a complement to our longer-stay adult inpatient unit at Dubé Centre as well our other mental health services around the province.”
Through the support of their many generous donors, including Irene and Les Dubé, RUHF has been at the forefront of supporting mental health care at RUH. This included the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health in 2010 and a temporary Mental Health Assessment Unit at Royal University Hospital in spring 2018. This unit supported emergency mental health assessment for patients during the construction of the new RUH adult emergency department. Upon the opening of the new adult RUH ER, the SHA was then able to utilize this temporary unit as a mental health flex space while planning and construction was underway for the new permanent adult mental health short stay unit.
“Royal University Hospital Foundation is pleased to see the expanded and well designed unit that builds onto our donors’ vision and support for patients suffering from mental illness. The new RUH Mental Health Short Stay Unit will provide more appropriate care for mental health patients when they need it most,” said Royal University Hospital Foundation CEO Arla Gustafson.
Patients who were currently being cared for within the temporary mental health flex unit are now being cared for in the new permanent short stay unit.
Take a video tour of the new adult mental health short stay unit below or watch on YouTube.
A common space in the new Adult Mental Health Short Stay Unit.