Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

From the March 28th edition of the Capital District Mental Health Program's Mental Health Happenings:
The Mental Health Program and the Department of Psychiatry are opening a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the East Coast Forensic Hospital (ECFH). This is for short-term stabilization of highly-agitated individuals, admitted to other mental health units with involuntary status, who are exhibiting aggressive and harmful behaviour towards others on their current unit. On April 1, 2011, the PICU will open for patients from inpatient psychiatry units in Capital Health. Referrals will be from the current attending psychiatrist to an ECFH psychiatrist.

The Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit is located in one of the Rehabilitation Units at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. The PICU has six single bedrooms, a spacious dayroom with lots of natural light, and a secure patio area. The whole of ECFH is specifically designed to create a calming atmosphere. The unit is staffed by clinicians who work effectively with a population whose specific needs include de-escalation of behaviours that pose a risk for harm to themselves and others.

The PICU will soon become a provincial resource - open to all the district health authorities across the province. Referrals will be made by a physician in the referring district, usually a psychiatrist, to a psychiatrist at the East Coast Forensic Hospital.

Please find attached the referral form and patient information handbook [actually a handbook for families]. [Links to these two documents are found below.]

If you have any questions, please contact James MacLean or Dr. Scott Theriault [460-7343; scott.theriault@cdha.nshealth.ca].

You are also welcome to call or email either of us.

Thank you.

Peter and Nick

Peter Croxall, Director
Capital Health Mental Health Program

Nick Delva, Professor and Head
Dalhousie University Department of Psychiatry

PICU Handbook - March 2011

PICU Referral - March 2011

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