Date Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
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MUSKOKA - New walk-in clinical sessions for those struggling with mental health issues in Bracebridge and Huntsville will be reviewed to increase their efficiency.
This summer Family Youth and Child Services of Muskoka opened a counselling walk-in clinic in the two locations, offering mental health services as a way to offer same-day care to those suffering with mental health issues.
Cyndie Tyrrell, director of services for FYCSM, said previously it could take a few weeks to several months before someone was seen. Now people can be seen right away.
“I hope we’re going to be seen to meet the needs of the community in a much more efficient manner,” Tyrrell said.
Though the program already seems more efficient, a $40,000 grant from Bell through the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, will see just how efficient it is.
Bell began the initiative to provide funding for grassroots mental health agencies last year. The fund supports community-based mental health initiatives across the country with grants from $5,000 to $50,000. In the past two years Bell has funded 109 grants totalling $2.25 million.
This year, FYCSM was one of 572 applications and one of 60 that received funding.
Mary Deacon, chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative, said the agency was chosen because it is making a difference at the grassroots level.
“The clinic’s such a great example of what a difference you can make when you have a little bit of funding,” Deacon said.
Only four per cent of medical research funding goes to mental health research. One in five Canadians experience a mental illness.
The money will be used to contract a researcher to conduct a program evaluation of the walk-in clinic model for mental health and look for ways to improve the effectiveness of the program.
Since the clinic opened, it has served 74 people. Forty-five per cent of them didn’t need to return, the remaining 55 per cent were either referred to another agency or continue to be seen by FYCSM as long as needed.
The clinic is open twice a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is in Huntsville at 81 Main Street on Tuesday and in Bracebridge at the 49 Pine Street on Thursday.
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