People who are seeking access to mental health services are confronted by a number of challenges that can prevent them from receiving the care they need. These include: stigma that is associated with those experiencing mental health concerns, long wait times to access care, and within a rural setting, widespread geography that presents transportation challenges.
Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority’s (IERHA) Recovery Champions committee, comprised of community members with lived experience, families, partner service providers and Interlake Eastern mental health-care providers, identified a need to promote the use of e-mental health services that includes user friendly information, resources and self-managed tools that are beyond traditional mental health services.
The region’s mental health and crisis services web pages features online tools and services that are validated by mental health-care providers, the Recovery Champion committee and members of the public as being legitimate sources of help and information that are easy to use and access.
The web pages empower individuals to make informed decisions about managing their health. Service providers appreciate the expanded delivery of cost-effective and innovative care across the region that the pages provide. Access to mental health services is improved as there are no time constraints, no waiting periods and no travel restrictions.
The number of page hits to the mental health and crisis services web pages is growing every year. There were 9,582 hits in 2017, 11,548 hits in 2018 and 14,776 hits in 2019.