Newspaper article The Canadian Press

IWK 'First Contact' for Consults on Cape Breton Children Needing Psychiatrist

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

IWK 'First Contact' for Consults on Cape Breton Children Needing Psychiatrist

Article excerpt

New psychiatric help for Cape Breton children

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SYDNEY, N.S. - Cape Breton emergency doctors treating children and youth with mental illnesses will soon routinely make experts at Halifax's IWK children's hospital their first contact.

Dr. Alexa Bagnell, head of psychiatry at the IWK Health Centre, said Tuesday that in the past consultations were sometimes provided by adult psychiatrists who were willing to assess older adolescents at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

She said as of Jan. 2 under the new policy, physicians treating children and adolescents who come to the Sydney hospital emergency will routinely make the IWK their first call via a telephone service.

Dr. Julie MacDonald, head of mental health and addictions service at the Sydney hospital, said between eight and 25 children or adolescents monthly are seen at the emergency department, with about one third requiring further psychiatric consultation. …

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