Prevention and access to care: Priorities for the Douglas
On February 2, Le Devoir published a number of articles on the Douglas Institute. This series included an interview with Lynne McVey, who took stock of her first year as Executive Director and who used this opportunity to talk about the Institute's major priorities for the coming years: prevention, access to care and continuity of care.
Investing in prevention
In response to a letter of distress written by the father of a young schizophrenic that was published in Le Devoir in January, Lynne McVey talked about prevention. “If a young man is diagnosed at the age of 14 or 15 at the time of his first psychotic episode, he can enter an intensive intervention program right away. If he and his family are then followed for a period of two years, he will most likely not end up on the street.”
Read the interview Freiner la chute. Comment empêcher que la maladie mentale mène à l’itinérance ou à la prison? on Le Devoir web site.
To demonstrate the importance of prevention and early intervention, Le Devoir also met with Ridha Joober, MD, PhD, and Co-Director of the PEPP program at the Douglas Institute. In order to intervene “upstream,” his team works with teachers, social workers and psychoeducators in schools and CLSCs. Le Devoir talked with a young woman who was in the PEPP program.
Read the two articles Dépistage précoce : intervenir rapidement pour éclaircir l’avenir and Santé mentale: sauvée par le programme PEPP
Facilitating access to care
It is easier to get care when you are diagnosed with cancer than when you are diagnosed with a mental disorder. Lynne McVey dreams of the day when this is no longer the case. “Our dream is to have a 1-800 mental health number along with case managers who can guide patients throughout treatment or even throughout the rest of their lives,” she explained to Le Devoir. “Our focus is on the right patient at the right place with the right treatment at the right time and with the right follow-up.”
A good example of continuity of care is the supervised housing program. In the West Island of Montreal, multidisciplinary teams from the Douglas provide lower-intensity to intensive case management. Le Devoir met with the landlord of a supervised apartment building and her tenants.