People needing urgent mental health care within Royal University Hospital emergency department in Saskatoon will soon have access to a new unit.
The Mental Health Assessment Unit is nearing completion at Royal University Hospital and will officially open its doors this spring.
“After all the operational planning and space design, it’s really exciting to finally be seeing this all come together,” says Tracy Muggli, director of mental health and addictions services with the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Saskatoon.
The goal of the unit is to provide a safer, more appropriate space for patients, ensuring their surrounding environment does not further compromise their mental well-being. This temporary space will support care for up to seven patients at a time with private assessment/treatment rooms, a large washroom with a shower and a waiting area. It will be in operation until the new adult emergency department is opened in late 2019, which will include private spaces that are more suitable to mental health emergency care, in addition to mental health assessment services.
An artist’s rendering of the new Mental Health Assessment Unit.
The creation of this temporary unit is a result of collaboration between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Royal University Hospital Foundation.
“We’ve been very fortunate to work with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to be able to go out and get support through the community to put the capital dollars into building this unit,” CEO of Royal University Hospital Foundation Arla Gustafson says. “While the Saskatchewan Health Authority is funding the operations, donors came forward, including Irene and Leslie Dubé, to put one million dollars towards this campaign and then hundreds of other donors made donations. People are very passionate about mental health and they knew that this was something that was needed so we were very successful in raising the money needed.”
“We really want to thank our staff and our leaders for their input into the design of this space,” says Muggli. “And we especially want to thank the patient and family advisors. They shared their experiences with us and we modified the initial design and the operational plan to make improvements based on their feedback. We’re very grateful to them and we’re confident that with their help, we’ve created a safe space within our emergency department for anyone experiencing a mental health concern.”
Want to see a tour of the almost complete Mental Health Assessment Unit? Watch it below or
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