Mental health walk-in clinics added in Charlottetown, Prince County

It can be "the right service at the right time," says Health PEI's Bruce Davison.

Walk-in clinics offer a registered community mental health therapist for up to 1 hour

Prince County is expanding mental health services already in O'Leary, Alberton and Summerside to include additional times at the Prince County Hospital and a walk-in clinic on Lennox Island. (Shutterstock/Pressmaster)

Mental health walk-in clinics have been added in Charlottetown, Lennox Island and Prince County Hospital to provide greater mental health services for what Health PEI calls an increasing number of people seeking the service.

The new Charlottetown walk-in clinic aims to help Islanders dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

We like to think they're reducing the barriers and stigma.- Bruce Davison, Health PEI

Health PEI has seen 235 people access walk-in mental health clinics since July 2016, according to Bruce Davison, the manager of community mental health and addictions west.

"For many people, having walk-in access ... mental health can be the right service at the right time," said Davison.

"We like to think they're reducing the barriers and stigma to accessing community mental health services."

Of the people who have accessed these walk-in clinics, Davison said only about a quarter of them leave wanting to access further, more traditional mental health services.

The new walk-in service is located at the Charlottetown Area Health Centre on Rochford Street. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

There has also been a "notable increase" of people accessing the services, Davison said.

That includes more people accessing it from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the services, he said, "most notably young adult men and middle-aged men who have not traditionally accessed service in the same numbers as women."

The new Charlottetown clinic is located at Richmond Centre and will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment or referral is needed.

Prince County clinics added

In addition to existing clinics at Westisle Composite High School and the O'Leary Health Centre, Lennox Island Health Centre will now provide mental health services on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Another day was added at the Prince County Hospital in Summerside.

Walk-in clinics will now run Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in addition to Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Those visiting the walk-in clinics can see a registered community mental health therapist for up to one hour. 

At the end of the session, the individual will receive a brief written summary of what was discussed and suggestions or recommendations, including referrals to services offered by Community Mental Health.

More information about mental health services, including clinic schedules, is available online or by contacting a local community mental health office.