The Emergency Room Outreach (ERO) program is located within Alberta Children’s Hospital emergency department alongside the Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) team. ERO is operated in partnership between Wood’s Homes and Alberta Health Services (AHS). AHS foundthat children and their families were presenting to the emergency department due to a mental health disruption; however, many families were not requiring inpatient services. Rather, they requiredimmediate, intensive outreach intervention to establish stability and prevent further escalation. By providing the emergency department with family support counsellor’s(FSC’s; individuals with a foundation in the social sciences), families showed that they were more willing to discharge knowing they would receive immediate support within their home. The ERO team operates from a people centered careand trauma informed perspective. Families are encouraged to build from their strengths by discussing goals that would be in the best interest of supporting everyone. Although it is the child or youth who presented with a mental health disruption in emergency, it is believed that the impact of this disruption is on the family as a whole. Siblings, and all family members are encouraged to partake in each session. Theopinions of each family member are always sought and these ideas are used to improve interventions, program design and in some cases, policy. ERO may also be active in facilitating system support and advocating for services (such as Family Supports for Children with Disabilities-FSCD, school based interventions).
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