Shared mental health care for a marginalized community in inner-city Canada

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Kisely, Stephen
Chisholm, Pamela
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Garry Walter, Gary Walter

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2009
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Abstract

Objectives: This paper describes the experience and evaluation of a shared care project targeted at marginalized individuals living in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This population has high rates of psychiatric disorder, often comorbid with chronic medical conditions, and people have difficulty in obtaining the help they need. This primary care liaison service covers all ages and includes outreach to emergency shelters, transitional housing and drop-in centres. Collaborative care improved access, satisfaction and outcomes for marginalized individuals in urban settings. Primary care providers with access to the service reported greater comfort in dealing with mental health problems, and satisfaction with collaborative care, as well as mental health services in general. Results were significantly better than those of control practices when such data were available. The median wait time was 6 days in comparison with 39.5 days for the comparison site. Conclusions: This model can complement other initiatives to improve the health of marginalized populations, and may be relevant to Australia.

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Australasian Psychiatry

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17

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2

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© 2009 Informa Healthcare. This is an electronic version of an article published in Australasian Psychiatry Jan 2009, Vol. 17, No. 2: 130–133. Australasian Psychiatry is available online at: http://informahealthcare.com with the open URL of your article.

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

Psychology

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