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NCCC concludes partnership in local walk-in counselling clinic, no change in service availability

One of the two original partners involved in the local walk-in counselling service has concluded its participation. There will be no impact to the delivery of the popular walk-in service from a client perspective.

Since opening just over two years ago in October, 2017, the walk-in service—accessed through a centralized intake location at Northumberland Hills Hospital Community Mental Health offices at 1011 Elgin Street West, Suite 200, Cobourg—has been used by over 3,337 people. Approximately 200 of these individuals have been youth (aged 7 to 16).

“The walk-in counselling option has proven to be a very good fit with local client needs,” said Jennifer Cox, Integrated Director, Community Mental Health Services for NHH.

Client feedback to date indicates a high degree of satisfaction.

Northumberland Community Counselling Centre (NCCC) was an inaugural partner in the innovative walk-in model, led by Northumberland Hills Hospital’s Community Mental Health Services. Launched with NCCC in October, 2017, the walk-in originally served adults only. In March 2019 the service was expanded to youth with the addition of a third partner, Rebound Child and Youth Services.

While NHH and Rebound have both found the walk-in service to be helpful in reducing the time clients must wait for service, NCCC has not.

Due to rising client needs within NCCC’s own core services, and limited resources, NCCC served notice to NHH this fall that it would need to conclude the partnership.

“NCCC sees clients with quite specific needs. Unfortunately, the walk-in has not reduced our NCCC wait times for our core services. With limited resources we find ourselves in the situation of having no choice but to concentrate our staff on service delivery within our own clinic,” said Andrea Gurney-Bowen, NCCC’s Executive Director.

“We were sorry to hear of NCCC’s decision, as we have seen benefits for clients, our system and our staff with the collaborative model, but we appreciate that they need to focus their resources where they are needed most at this time,” said Jennifer Cox. “Service will continue unchanged at the walk-in with Northumberland Hills Hospital Community Mental Health Services and Rebound Child and Youth Services providing counselling care. Collaboration opportunities with other local partners are also being explored.”

“The walk-in model has proved to be extremely helpful in providing service to children and youth of our community in a time-sensitive manner. The walk-in model complements Rebound’s mental health services for children and youth, and provides a service option that is flexible, but integrates well with our service model,” said Carol Beauchamp, Executive Director, Rebound Child & Youth Services.

Information on the walk-in counselling clinic will be found online at: mentalhealthwalkinclinic.ca and on the websites of Northumberland Hills Hospital and Rebound Child and Youth Services.

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