CARING FOR THE MINDS OF OUR YOUTH
Angeline is a Child and Youth Worker on RVH’s Child and Youth Mental Health Inpatient Unit. She has been with the program since the beginning, joining the inpatient team at the creation of the unit in late 2017. Every day, your donation is helping Angie and her colleagues improve the lives of our young patients in crisis.
“We provide care for children and youth up to their 18th birthday who are experiencing an acute mental health crisis that may result in harm to self or others. Our program supports children and youth who require admission for psychiatric assessment and short-term stabilization, due to acute mental health crisis.”
Once patients are admitted, they are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals through a variety of programming options, depending on the individual needs of each patient.
“We support our patients through participation in groups (mindfulness, safety planning, emotion regulation, to name a few), individualized programs, hygiene routines, meals and snacks and one-on-one support.”
Angie and her team also perform assessments for patients who present in the Emergency Department in crisis. These assessments determine whether a patient would benefit from admittance to the hospital or if they would be better served through outpatient services.
For Angie, the most important part of the work she does is not just who she is helping, but also where.
“Being able to give back to the community in which I live is very meaningful to me. I have waited nearly 20 years for a child and youth mental health mental health program to open up in our region.”
She is proud of the program that community donations have helped her, and her team, create and the important work that it allows her to do for vulnerable children and youth in Simcoe Muskoka.
“In the past five years, we have opened and grown a brand new program for the region; we have started a Section 23 program for our outpatients; we have created and developed our unit programming; and, we have worked collaboratively with our community partners to provide the best services for our patients.”
We have come a long way since 2017. Before then, there were no mental health inpatient services for our young patients at RVH.
“All children and youth were admitted to our Adult Mental Health Unit and there was no dedicated programming. We had no child and youth psychiatrist, so our young patients were all referred out. They had to go outside of our region to seek care. This was a huge stressor for families who were already in the most stressful time in their lives.”
The inpatient Child and Youth Mental Health program at RVH has given Angie and her team the opportunity to help our youngest patients right here in the community where they live, reducing the negative impacts of travelling for care and keeping them near the support of family, friends and loved ones while they heal.
“It brings peace of mind, fewer worries, and much-needed mental health care closer to home. It helps us re-centre our focus on the patients.”
Have you received excellent care from a member of our talented care team? Someone like Angie? You can make a gift in their honour, helping to provide much-needed funds for ongoing needs like new equipment, technology, enhanced spaces and more. Make a donation in honour of your care hero!