Crisis Prevention and Management Program Development Team

New Crisis Prevention and Management Program ensuring Guelph General Hospital provides the safest and highest quality of care, in partnership with Homewood Health Centre.

Strategic partnerships can greatly enhance health outcomes at Guelph General Hospital. The most recent example is joining forces with Homewood Health Centre which is an established leader in mental health and addiction. Together, we’ve launched a new Crisis Prevention and Management Program that has been customized to meet the needs of GGH staff .

Hospital staff, particularly those in our Emergency Department, are on the front line when community members are having mental health challenges or need care for complications from alcohol and drug use. As Guelph continues its fast-paced growth demand on our overburdened ED will increase.

The new partnership will see all GGH staff trained on how to;

  • Identify patients in mental health or addictions-related crisis who need support,
  • De-escalate crisis situations, and how to protect themselves and others if situations turn violent,
  • Best support these community members.

Leading the program at GGH is Andrea de Jong, Clinical Educator. Andrea says, “Our goal is ensure our staff can safely go into any situation knowing how to handle it.”

Training is divided into three levels based on a staff member’s role and potential risks faced. Non-clinical staff will receive a four-hour training course, clinical staff who are deemed to be lower risk do a one-day course and the staff at highest risk will have two-days of intensive training.

The Program educates staff about mental health and addiction, how to use language to de-escalate situations, self-protection moves if a situation becomes violent and self-care after the crisis is resolved. This last component is crucial to help caregivers avoid compassion fatigue, post-traumatic stress, and feelings of burn out.

A key part of the training is increasing awareness about the ‘trauma informed approach.’ This tries to assess what patients and visitors might have gone through in the past and how GGH staff might approach them through different interventions.

Andrea’s background as a nurse in the Emergency Department helped her in this role of developing this joint training program with Homewood. “We want patients with mental health or addictions issues to feel comfortable at GGH and to come back for ongoing care,” she says. “We want all patients to have a good experience and to seek help whenever it is needed. Increasing our awareness and skills for intervening positively during a crisis will improve care across the Hospital.”

Members of the development group were (photo, left) l-r Nicole Vance, Melissa Skinner, Breanna Leighton, Lisa Groulx, Alana Byron, Andrea de Jong, Jessica Zettel, Carrie Anderson, Nikki Mohle, Karen Suk-Patrick, Alexa Fleming, Rod Carroll, Whitney Brown and Rebecca Jackson.