News release

New Mental Health Day Hospital

A new mental health hospital will offer day treatments for those in the Halifax area requiring intensive mental health supports.

The province’s first mental health acute day hospital is scheduled to open in April. The hospital, which will be at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, will provide an additional point of care for local residents living with mental illness. Individuals in need of intensive treatment can attend the day hospital during the day and return home in the evening.

“Nova Scotians living with mental illness need and deserve access to appropriate supports and treatments,” said Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health. “For some people, the supports provided at a community mental health clinic aren’t enough, but intensive inpatient psychiatric care isn’t the answer. The day hospital will address this gap and ensure that people can get appropriate care while staying closely connected with their family and community.”

Those attending the hospital will be supported by an interdisciplinary team of mental health specialists, including a newly hired psychiatrist, nursing staff and social workers. The team will provide individual psychiatric treatments and therapeutic group programs. The hospital will operate seven days a week. It will have an initial capacity of up to 10 people a day and is expected to expand.

The day hospital will help to improve access to care for people experiencing intense psychiatric symptoms but who 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.

Admissions will come through community mental health clinics and emergency departments. People discharged from inpatient psychiatric care may also be referred to the day hospital for follow-up care.

Quotes:

The new Mental Health Day Hospital will help close the gap between outpatient care and full inpatient hospital admission. It will help provide people living with mental illness access to the supports they need on their healing journey. Dr. Sanjana Sridharan, Head of Acute Consultation and Emergency Psychiatry, Mental Health and Addictions Program, Nova Scotia Health

Quick Facts:

  • occupancy rates for inpatient psychiatry care in Central Zone regularly exceed 100 per cent, requiring resources to be diverted to other health zones
  • estimated costs for the day hospital are $360,000 in 2021-22, with an ongoing annual investment of $1 million
  • the day hospital will be located in the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building of the QEII Health Sciences Centre
  • patients will attend for an average of two weeks

Additional Resources:

People needing treatment and care for mental health and addictions can contact the Mental Health and Addictions Intake Service at 1-855-922-1122

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line can also be reached 24/7 by calling 1-888-429-8167

More information on mental health and addiction services and supports is available at:

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