Crisis Centre Construction To Start This Summer

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Klementiev

Construction will start this summer on London’s 24/7 ten bed mental health and addictions crisis centre.

The Canadian Mental Health Association of Middlesex has secured $810,000 in annual operations funding from the Local Health Integration Network, but more is still needed. It is expected yearly operating costs will come in at $1.1-million.

The crisis centre will be at the CMHA Middlesex’s facility at 648 Huron St.  As of right now, there are certain programs offered at the site, but nothing that is 24/7.

Officials are hoping the crisis centre will keep people out of the emergency department and the London Health Sciences Centre’s overflowing psychiatric ward.

“You can have a face-to-face assessment with a clinical team, but it is a non-medical model. That individual can hook you up to other needed resources if you have housing issues, if you need some treatment options or if you need a connection to other resources,” says CMHA Middlesex’s Director of Intensive Case Management Christine Sansom. “It’s for individuals who are dealing with family members and really don’t want to take them to the hospital because they don’t need hospital, they just need some form of support. It’s for the university student who isn’t coping well and they need help at 2 o’clock on a Saturday .”

All of the partners, including the LHSC, are working with LHIN and Ministry of Health for capital funding. Construction and renovations will total $1.8-million.

Earlier this year, LHSC officials cut visiting hours and upped security on the seventh floor of Victoria Hospital, where those with mental health issues are kept, due to an overflowing psychiatric ward. The hospital is often at 125% capacity.

“I think everyone is at capacity, with the growing need that there’s wait lists of services and this is going to be one of the ways that we can look at all the services that are being provided and do it in a coordinated way,” notes Sansom.

The crisis centre is slated to open in December of this year.