The Niagara Region has been experiencing an increased demand for emergency health services, which places non-sustainable demand on available resources. Niagara Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) engaged in strategic program development to address low acuity mental health and addictions calls in the community. This resulted in Welland McMaster FHT’s 2018 Bright Lights-nominated program - Mental Health and Addictions Response Team (MHART). Made up by an Advanced Care Paramedic, a Mental Health Nurse and a Mental Health Community Worker, since its inception in July 2018, MHART has responded to 101 emergency calls for low acuity mental health and addictions patients with only 9 of those callers needing transport to the ED. They have also made 70 referrals to community agencies and mental health supports. The program has already seen a 5% reduction in mental health transports by ambulance to the ED compared to the same time period prior to MHART launch and they aim to reduce ED visits by 10% by January 2019. To learn more, click on the poster image below.
- 2018 Bright Lights Hall of Fame: The Launch of MHART (PDF)
- 2018 Bright Lights winners and nominees- videos and pdfs included