CISSSO launches short-term Psychiatric Intervention Units


Tashi Farmilo
Local Journalism Initiative

The Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) recently introduced its Short-Term Psychiatric Intervention Unit (UIBP), an integral part of the Inter-Ministerial Action Plan on Mental Health 2022-2026, fittingly dubbed “Unite for Collective Well-being.”

Located at the Gatineau Hospital, the UIBP’s core mission is to expand specialized, brief psychiatric interventions for individuals in the throes of a crisis. Patients can access these services after consulting a psychiatrist from the emergency department. However, with the impending rollout of two additional measures, direct access to the UIBP could be available to specialized rapid intervention teams, mental health community relay teams (ÉSIRRC), and brief intensive treatment teams at home (home hospitalization – TIBD).

With an intended stay ranging from 48 to 72 hours, the unit caters to individuals grappling with acute mental health occurrences, thus seamlessly paving their way back to their residences. Patients are assured a tailored intervention strategy, emphasizing their unique strengths to ensure stability and a swift return to societal and professional responsibilities. The unit is tailored to reduce extended hospitalizations, countering “revolving door” syndrome by actively pushing to resolve psychosocial issues.

A driving force behind the UIBP’s inception includes the urgency to curtail hospitalization rates for mental health patients, alleviate the strain on emergency departments, and enhance the quality of patient services.

But CISSSO isn’t stopping there. Plans are underway to bolster mental health support in the region, ranging from launching community-based specialized rapid intervention teams to initiating flagship projects focusing on short-term psychiatric interventions, and intensive brief treatment at home for those with mental disorders.

The UIBP brings a plethora of advantages to the Outaouais community: elevated accessibility for those in dire need, reduced hospital stays, improved emergency visits, a therapeutic environment surpassing traditional emergency rooms, family involvement in the healing journey, enhanced patient welfare, crisis resolution without alienating patients from their known environment, and consistent care while nurturing partnerships within the health network.

Services are accessible in both French and English. Additionally, for those speaking other languages, interpreter-assisted services are available to ensure comprehensive care.

“The UIBP’s launch heralds a significant transformation in the Action Plan on Mental Health. It embodies a renewed perspective towards emergency mental health care. Hats off to CISSSO for pioneering this initiative!” said Lionel Carmant, Minister responsible for Social Services.