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Queensway Carleton Hospital opens new inpatient mental health unit

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A new mental health inpatient unit has officially opened its doors at The Queensway Carleton Hospital.

The new inpatient unit at the Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg Mental Health Centre is located one floor above the original mental health area and is now double the size of its original footprint.

“It’s a really open, well lit, therapeutic space that’s conducive to healing for people who are in the worst mental health crisis of their life,” Dr. Andrew Falconer, QCH President & CEO told CTV News Ottawa.

Along with adding a brand new four-bed psychiatric intensive care unit, the space also features a secure outdoor courtyard for patients, additional areas for exercise and a comfort room flooded with natural light. The 24 regular patient rooms are now all private.

“This expansion has been a long time coming, with years of planning, fundraising and preparations. It’s quite exciting to see the first phase of this project completed, especially for the patients who will benefit from what our new inpatient unit has to offer,” Falconer said in a news release.

More than 12,600 patients received mental health care at QCH, according to the hospital; that’s up 18 per cent from three years ago. QCH adds that patients also have conditions that are more serious that require treatment that is more complex.

“Today we’re 117 per cent occupied in our (old) unit downstairs, so two more beds occupied than what we’re funded for, and that’s a regular occurrence,” said Lianne Learmonth, QCH Clinical Director.

“We’ve made good progress as a community and as a society in speaking about mental health challenges and I think today is a great reflection on how far we’ve come and the care we can provide patients,” said Learmonth.

Through the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation’s Hopes Rising campaign, $6 million was donated over the course of six years to support the initiative. The project received $9 million in funding from the Ministry of Health.

The original mental health floor will be remodeled for mental health outpatient services, with the entire renovation and expansion of the Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg Mental Health Centre set to be fully completed later next year. 

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