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Canadian Mental Health Association suspends Orillia's safe bed program

Officials say temporary hiatus is necessary while 'transitional plan' and 'internal assessment' is carried out; For now, three Orillia beds are unused

An Orillia program designed to help those needing mental-health support is on a temporary hiatus.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has suspended its local Safe Bed program at its Nottawasaga Street facility.

“It’s not really closed,” said John Henderson, program manager of the CMHA’s Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) and Safe Beds program.

Henderson said admissions are on hold and no one is currently using any of the three beds located at its local facility.

“We’re doing an internal assessment,” Henderson said. “We’re in the midst of a transitional plan.”

Henderson, whose jurisdiction covers the area from Orillia to Midland, said the review should be completed in the coming weeks.

“We will still have the beds,” he added.

According to the CMHA website, the Safe Bed program is a voluntary and non-medical, short-term residential program of up to a 14-day stay with the staff support from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

“Safe Beds offers crisis intervention and a safe therapeutic environment for individuals to work through crisis situation and accomplish their goals,” the CMHA explains.

Applicants can be referred or self-referred to the program by paper referral or telephone contact with the Safe Bed staff, who will then complete an admission screening to meet eligibility criteria for the program.

“Applicants are expected to establish self-identified goals and a plan,” the CMHA states.

“Applicants are encouraged to access staff for support and advocacy to help navigate the community support systems. Safe Bed staff will be actively involved with supporting your plan to develop a successful discharge plan that is successful for the applicant.”

ACTT, meanwhile, is a client-centred, recovery-focused mental health service for individuals 16 years or older with serious mental illness and complex challenges that require long-term intensive treatment and support.


Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Community Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago
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