Yorkton is one of eight communities in the province to receive a new Community Recovery Team. But what does that mean for the city?
Britton Houdek, Saskatchewan Health Authority Interim Manager of the Yorkton Crisis Assessment and Recovery Team, said that the team is a composition of different professionals who provide high intensity mental health and addictions services to those who have significant mental illness.
The main difference with having this team available is how they respond to the client’s needs.
“We follow a model that allows us to be flexible with the client’s needs. We work non-traditional hours, whether that be evenings or weekends, and really provide the client care in their home or in their community where it’s more meaningful to them.”
The team is made up of a team leader, a social worker, two occupational therapists, an addictions councillor and four community mental health nurses.
“To have a multi-disciplinary team is so valuable for patients. It allows for increased communication between professionals, it allows for different lenses to be used to examine and collaborate with the client on what their needs are. It helps ensure the safety of patients is respected. It really is the best way to provide care for patients,” Houdek said.
The goal of the team is to use that flexibility to better meet the client’s needs overall, and more importantly, get rid of barriers that might exist in a traditional, clinic-based model, Houdek explained.
“Coming into a hospital or a clinical setting really limits patients. When we are able to be in their homes, when we have the flexibility to work in tandem with other professionals, we can do assessments, we can do treatment that is through multi-disciplinary lens so that the patient receives the right care at the right time from the right professionals. We’re removing some of the barriers to access.”
The other issue with a clinic is not always a comfortable environment for clients, which can cause them to put up their own barriers, which makes treatment more difficult.
“Clients feel cautious about coming into a clinic or coming into a hospital, as opposed to that sense of safety that home environment,” Houdek said.
As the team evolves, they hope to be able to use this model, with Yorkton as a base, in surrounding rural areas as well, as Houdek acknowledges that the city does service a wide range of people in the surrounding area who may also need the support of the team.
Houdek said that the development of the team has been exciting for the region, as they look at improving the services they currently offer as well as filling some of the gaps that are currently in the community.