November 30, 2022
Mental Health Peer Support Program Connecting with Families in Hospital
For many children, teens and parents seeking mental health or addictions support at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, arriving at the Emergency Department (ED) can be a stressful and intimidating experience.
The implementation of a donor-funded peer support program, where parents and teens with lived experience help navigate the journey alongside new patients and their families, has been invaluable. Peer support workers help families by waiting with them in the ED for an inpatient space – which can often take days – while also providing information about what to expect when they are admitted to hospital.
Through modelling and sharing their own experiences, peer support workers are able to build strong connections with patients and families to work toward attainable goals and help foster recovery.
Thanks to your support, this one-of-a-kind program is now integrated into the flow of Psychiatric Emergency Services and has established roots in the entire ED. The services of peer support workers are both recognized and sought after. The program will also be an important part of the walk-in clinic at the new child and youth mental health centre, which will be called The Summit: Marian & Jim Sinneave Centre for Youth Resilience when it opens.