An Innovative Model of Pediatric Acute Mental Health and Addictions Care

    Not Recruiting
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Alberta
Updated on 26 November 2022


The investigators will implement and evaluate an integrated, evidence-based bundle of family-centred, pediatric emergency mental health and addictions care.


The investigators will implement and evaluate an integrated, evidence-based bundle of family-centred, emergency mental health and addictions care. This care bundle will provide high value to families, matching resources and services to need while eliminating healthcare inefficiencies and closing care gaps. The bundle will introduce two well-established tools for healthcare providers to use in EDs, walk-in clinics, and urgent mental health care appointments. These tools are the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) and HEADS-ED, an assessment mnemonic (Home; Education & Employment; Activities & Peers; Drugs & Alcohol; Suicidality; Emotions & Behaviours; Discharge or Current Resources).

The bundle will also introduce new processes to improve healthcare system efficiencies, navigation and transitions between healthcare sectors. For families who receive care in the ED, the investigators will remove the physician gatekeeper role so that children/youth who are screened as low-risk will be offered a follow-up appointment in an urgent mental health care clinic within 24-48 hours. Those who screen as high-risk will see a mental health specialist and undergo a HEADS-ED assessment. Families who follow up in the clinic will receive care that applies a Choice And Partnership Approach (CAPA). CAPA is a collaborative approach to healthcare, where healthcare providers work in partnership with children/youth and their parents to identify choices for care that best match individual needs and preferences.

Study Goal: The investigators' goal is the right care, with the right people, at the right place and time.

Study Design: To measure the bundle's impact, the investigators will use an interrupted time series (ITS) design.

Condition Mental Health, Mental Disorders, Pediatrics, Emergency Psychiatric
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04292379
SponsorUniversity of Alberta
Last Modified on26 November 2022

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