CMHA Services To Improve In Chatham

CMHA presentation at the LHIN board meeting. January 24, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

The Lambton-Kent Canadian Mental Health Association is looking at expanding outpatient services in Chatham.

And those plans include consolidating 15 staff and several programs.

CMHA Chief Executive Officer Alan Stevenson cites growth and cost effectiveness for the shift from the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

“Many with mental health and addiction issues don’t want to visit hospitals and prefer community care,” says Stevenson.

He says eventually the agency “wants to buy the building at 240 Grand Avenue” because right now, the CMHA “pays too much rent.”

Stevenson adds demand has increased rapidly lately and expects growth of up to 5% over the next few years.

He says buying the building will meet long-term needs and extended hours along with on-call support are being considered.

The $5.1-million move still needs provincial approval and could take years.