November 30, 2018

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Here 24/7 Call Volumes Soar As Increase Need For Mental Health Services Continues

Since May 2018, Here 24/7 has seen a significant increase in calls resulting in over 1,000 unique callers per month. Here 24/7 is the single access point to the entire mental health, addictions and crisis sector in Waterloo Region and Wellington County and often serves as an indicator for what is happening in the community. Many factors such as the opioid crisis, family pressures, financial stress, mental health awareness and acceptance could be contributing to the spike in call volumes.

While there has been an increase in call volume, Here 24/7 continues to serve the community well with only a 5‑second median wait time to talk to a live person – 70% of the time there is no wait time to a live answer call. However, Here 24/7 receives over 52,000 calls per year and despite having a responsive “front door,” many are still on wait lists for ongoing care. 

The work done by Here 24/7 is extremely valuable. “I frequently receive phone calls, emails or written notes from people who have accessed services and/or support that was jumpstarted by the Here 24/7 team. The work that happens is transformational and exemplified by recent feedback from a person who shares “It felt like someone had taken my hand and held onto it”, says Manager of Here 24/7 Jeffrey Stanlick.

Over 2,873 residents are currently waiting for LHIN-funded addictions or mental health care in Waterloo Wellington. Despite the wait times, there is good news in the mental health care system:

  • Targeted Walk-In Counselling in partnership with Family Counselling agencies has reduced wait lists from 400 people to 0 in Waterloo Region.
  • For the first time CMHA WW is able to offer child psychiatry to family health teams to support their patients.
  • Waterloo Wellington LHIN has launched 4 Flexible Assertive Community Treatment Teams in each sub-region to help those with complex mental health needs.
  • Two new Psychiatrists have joined CMHA WW and will work with our Children’s Services Team in Guelph Wellington, with our Guelph Wellington Adult Services Team, and will also be providing Forensic Assessments across CMHA WW.
  • There are three Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Teams working alongside three different police agencies to help those in crisis.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington

CMHA WW is Canada’s largest CMHA chapter and provides a full care system for those with addictions, mental health or developmental needs. CMHA WW serves everyone from children to adults to seniors, all under one roof. It is also the lead partner in Here 24/7, the single access point to the entire mental health, addictions and crisis sector in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Megan Brady, Communications Specialist

Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington

1-844-264-2993 Ext. 2106 (office) / 226-979-4578 (cell)

mbrady@cmhaww.ca