FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – AUGUST 17, 2022 – Cornwall Community Hospital’s Community Addictions and Mental Health Services has partnered with Riverview Manor, Cornwall Police Service, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, and Ontario Provincial Police of SDG and Prescott-Russell to open a first-of-its-kind Safe Bed Program in Cornwall, thanks to support provided by the Ministry of Health.
A partially renovated section at Riverview Manor houses 6 beds to provide people from Cornwall, SDG, Prescott-Russell and Akwesasne, who are at least 16 years old, with safe accommodations and on-site 24/7 support services as an alternative to hospital admission or detention if they are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, and are subject of a police inquiry.
To be eligible, individuals have to be referred to the program by police, a mobile response team or crisis team. Upon admission, participants receive stabilization supports and establish recovery-oriented goals with the help of program staff. They also receive: meals and personal care items; mental health and substance use support; help with rebuilding supportive relationships with family and friends; and, referrals to community-based services.
The length of stay can be up to a maximum of 30 days and depends on the crisis a client is experiencing and the measures that need to be put in place.
“Our government is working with Cornwall and communities across Ontario to support critical mental health and addictions and integrated social services,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The impacts of mental health and addictions challenges can be felt in every community, and we are working with our partners in health care and across sectors to ensure Ontarians continue to receive life-saving treatment when they need it.”
“Historically there hasn’t been enough local, safe and supportive accommodations for people who are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. We greatly appreciate the support of our community partners, including the Ministry of Health, to launch this new program, and we look forward to working with them to make our community a healthier and safer place,” says Jeanette Despatie, President & Chief Executive Officer at the Cornwall Community Hospital.
Since launching in April, the Safe Bed Program has already welcomed 30 clients, and the program’s six beds have been steadily occupied.
More information on the program can be found at www.cornwallhospital.ca/en/safebedprogram.