A new program is aiming to cut the wait times to see a counsellor in Lloydminster and area.
A partnership between the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF), Lloydminster United Way and Catholic Social Services (CSS) will see counselling being offered through CSS to clients who already have an appointment with community mental health but their wait time is over two weeks.
Stephanie Munro CEO at LRHF explains how they anticipate bridging the gap will work.
“Through the Border Bridge program you will see a counsellor within one week time, that’s our goal. And you will see them until your appointment time comes up with community mental health, at which time you will transition back to the government-funded counselling services.”
Munro sees this will offer services in a more timely manner than having to wait for over two months after they were initially assessed.
“Lloydminster Mental Health & Addictions does triage all of the patients that call there, but some of them you could be waiting up to a 12-week period. Some of them, maybe if there is a cancellation you can get in sooner, but a lot of times they are not getting seen in the time frame they need and it’s due to a shortage of counsellors. It’s due to multiple factors.”
CSS will be using their counsellors supplemented by counsellors throughout the community says Munro. They aim to offer an extra 400-plus counselling sessions per year over the next two years with the 71,000-dollar funding from LRHF and Lloydminster United Way.