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New mental health hospital in Halifax to offer day treatment starting in April

Nova Scotia has announced a new mental health hospital that will offer day treatment for people in the Halifax area, with an initial capacity of 10 patients a day.

When it opens in April, it will be the province’s first mental health acute day hospital.

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According to government, the occupancy rates for inpatient psychiatry care in Central Zone, which includes the Halifax area, “regularly exceed 100 per cent.”

The new hospital will be at the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and admissions will come through community mental health clinics and emergency departments.

“For some people, the supports provided at a community mental health clinic aren’t enough, but intensive inpatient psychiatric care isn’t the answer,” said Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, in a statement.

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“The day hospital will address this gap and ensure that people can get appropriate care while staying closely connected with their family and community.”

The hospital will have a team of mental health specialists, nursing staff and social workers. While the hospital will operate seven days a week, it will only have an initial capacity of 10 people a day. It’s anticipated patients will attend for an average of two weeks.

The province said the capacity is expected to expand in the future.

Meanwhile, it’s hoped the day hospital will support those experiencing psychiatric symptoms but do not require 24-hour inpatient support

“It will also help decrease the number of overnight hospital admissions, easing existing pressures on inpatient psychiatric units and within the broader healthcare system, without compromising patient care or clinical outcomes for people living with mental illness,” the province noted in a news release.

The day hospital is expected to cost $350,000 in the 2021-22 fiscal year, with an ongoing annual cost of $1 million.

Click to play video: 'Filmmaker Shines A Light on Mental Health in African NS Communities'

Filmmaker Shines A Light on Mental Health in African NS Communities

Filmmaker Shines A Light on Mental Health in African NS Communities – Feb 18, 2022

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