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ACCESS: Reducing Wait Times 

Improving Access to Mental Health Services (2/3)   
Published on Connect Magazine, Fall 2010
 
“We are trying to be as accessible to as many people as we can. You can call us, and we can come to you,” he says. The mobile crisis response team uses a triage system to assess who they should visit first: people who have a history of using the services, who are acutely upset, people who are unable or unwilling to come to a facility for mental health services, or who may be at a risk of being detained will be seen to first. David says the team’s main goal is to give people access to professionals with the most training in crisis mental health situations.
Mental Health Quote
Aside from addressing crisis issues, the program has hired a number of Outreach workers. Jennifer Mercer, a mental health social worker, does outreach in the downtown St. John’s area. She visits places such as the Gathering Place and Women’s Place and offers her help to anyone who needs it.

“When we went [to the Gathering Place] the first thing we had to do was build trust. We went into the social room and explained why we were there,” she said.
Surprisingly, one of the first things they helped with was a heat bill rebate. “Someone had heard about it, but because they couldn’t read, they had not known how to send in the rebate.”

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Updated Jan 10, 2012