More Canadian Kids Visiting ER For Mental Health Issues: Report

by gdilillo20 on November 4, 2015 - 2:24pm

The Canadian Institute of Mental Health Information has concluded in a recent report that most ER visits of youths between the ages of five and 24 have increased by 45% since the rates from 2007. This article explains how ER rooms that are taken are mostly being used for young adolescents with mental health disorders. Within seven years, the age group between five and 24 have taken up a 37 percent rate of in-patient hospitalizations with a minimum of one overnight stay. The most common age group of hospital services was 15 to 17 years old, involving 53 percent increase of ER visits and 74 percent increase of in-patient hospitalizations. 

The CIHI director of health system analysis, Kathleen Morris stated that people with mental disorders usually stay longer in the hospitals, therefore on any day, at least half of the hospital beds that are being used are used by children and youths being treated with mental health disorders. Her study found that during midterms for children, teens and young adults the hospital admission rates decrease by 13 percent. Morris said that the reason why more young teens admit themselves sin hospitals is possibly because their shame around mental health disorders decreased, therefore they become more comfortable by facing the fact that they need to seek help, which is a good sign.

The issue is that it could also be a negative sign because this could mean that the patients have insufficient access to community-based programs. This worries the CIHI, because they are not sure if the increase of hospital admissions is due to the fact that the patients haven’t had the right services in their community setting. Comparing this concept to the ideal system being most services provided in communities by nurses, GP’s and social workers and providing short term care for the most complex patients, which in reality is not practical.

This year, the CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, Kim Moran, said that approximately 6000 youths are on a waiting list for community based mental health services and by 2016 that list is expected to double. She says that what these patient in need of help need an integrated system of care, since the system is not succeeding at providing primary care. These youths and young adults needs hospitals, community sectors and the educational sector to merge and work together in helping these patients.

The CIHI has seen inclinations of hospitalizations and re-admissions, assuming now that the integrated mental health care system is not working properly. Youths and children have been using hospitals more for mental health care disorders more than for other reasons. The elevation of self harm has increased taking over higher rates of hospitalizations because of this issue rather than kids being admitted for other issues that aren’t mental health disorders, “A previous CIHI report found the number of ER visits for intentional self-harm among 10- to 17-year-olds rose 45 per cent from 2009–2010 to 2013–2014.” To add to this report, there has been five times more girls than boys between the ages of 14 and 17 who visit the emergency department due t self-harm.

Since these issues have increased rather than decreased the Mental Health Commission of Canada released a booklet, “Mental Health Strategy for Canada: A Youth Perspective,” in order to gain different strategy’s and solutions for community-based programs. Here is the site where you can see these strategy's:




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