News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 16, 2021

PROVINCE ADDING SIX ADDITIONAL BEDS TO CRISIS STABILIZATION UNIT IN WINNIPEG

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More than $500,000 Provided to Improve Access to Mental Health Services, Reduce Wait Times, Add Bed Capacity at Emergency Departments: Gordon

The Manitoba government is investing more than $500,000 in one-time funding to add six crisis stabilization unit beds to the Crisis Response Centre’s intervention program, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

“We have seen a high number of mental health-related hospital admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gordon. “By adding these beds, we will be able to help more individuals experiencing a mental health crisis in a timely way while reducing the wait times they may see at an emergency department or at the Crisis Response Centre.”

Crisis stabilization units (CSU) provide short-term, community-based supportive care and treatment for individuals in psychiatric or psychosocial crisis who may be at risk of hospitalization. During the pandemic, to comply with physical distancing requirements, six CSU beds were transitioned to support virtual care for this population. This new investment will support the ongoing availability of these virtual spaces while enabling the reopening of the physical beds by mid-August, increasing the total number of crisis stabilization beds to 22. 

Some of the funds will be used to enhance safety and security on the unit. Additional clinical and support staff resources are also being added. The clinical staff have a range of backgrounds including nursing, occupational therapy and social work, said Gordon.

“The continuation of virtual CSU supports will allow improved access, choice and flexibility for patients, enabling them to access treatment virtually without the need to disrupt their work schedule, make arrangements for child care or similar personal responsibilities,” said Dr. James M. Bolton, medical director of the Crisis Response Centre, Shared Health. “Virtual patients connect with clinical staff daily, receive medication reminders, participate in group classes and actively work on their recovery plans.

“Thanks to this investment, people experiencing crisis will have better access to the short-term treatment and supportive care they need, at what can be a pivotal time in their life. More individuals will now be able to come and learn coping strategies, wellness planning and preventative techniques, helping them recover and live successfully in their community.”

The investment will also support round-the-clock admissions starting Aug. 16, allowing Manitobans to access the care they need as quickly as possible, while having a positive impact on length of stay in emergency departments for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, added Gordon.

“By adding additional stabilization beds and increasing capacity in the CSU, we will also be opening up much-needed capacity in emergency departments for acutely ill patients, while ensuring that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can get the proper care they need, right when they need it.” the minister said.

The Manitoba government has made significant investments in mental health and addictions services since October 2019, including more than $50.8 million in more than 33 projects and initiatives.

For more information about the CSU, visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/services/mental-health/crisis-stabilization-unit/.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED




Backgrounder
Background Information - https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/2021/07/BG-CSU_Beds-MHWR.pdf