Construction on a new observation room to provide a safe space for mental health and substance use patients while they’re in the ER will be complete in the next few weeks at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
Rae Samson is the Regional Manager of Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse with Interior Health.
“Treatment will be initiated once they come into the hospital. They may be in the room while they’re being treated, they may be also in the room while they’re awaiting transport to a higher level of care, so typically to the psychiatric unit at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.”
Samson adds that the room will be staffed by ER physicians and nurses.
“We’ve provided training to the nurses and the physicians; on site we’ll be doing some follow-up around that and we’re also trying to make sure there are good connections between the staff at the Royal Inland Hospital and the staff here at the Cariboo Memorial.”
“We’re just revising our crisis response and intake programs for community mental health and they will have a very strong presence in the emergency room to help support the staff there and to support mental health and substance use patients coming in.”
The observation room comes through funding last year by the province’s Ministry of Health.