Providing access to appropriate care, engaging individuals and families.
As the pandemic continued into 2020/21, Family and Mental Health Services staff continued to shift treatment plans to accommodate the growing number of individuals and families struggling with the effects of the pandemic, finding it difficult to cope. The increased anxiety, stress and isolation experienced by many, saw a 25% increase in calls for services.
We believe that the mental health of newcomers impacts an individual’s ability to integrate into the community. COSTI believes that everyone deserves access to appropriate care. In keeping with this philosophy, we expanded the online virtual counselling model last year, providing culturally competent counselling services to couples, families and individuals.
The mental health needs of newcomers continued to be a priority. Recognizing that in-person counselling support is the preferred method for our clients, our psychiatrists continued to offer in-person treatment three days a week, understanding that one-on-one in-person treatment greatly benefitted patients. The increased needs of patients due to COVID-19, together with an increase in referrals has resulted in a year-long wait list. COSTI hopes to secure additional support to reduce wait times and is looking at innovative approaches to meet the increasing need for psychiatric services.
COSTI hopes to expand mental health services to individuals experiencing homelessness and suffering with chronic mental health and addictions, as well as continue to implement a mental health program for refugees in partnership with COSTI’s Client Support Services and Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre programs this coming year.