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Shalini Lal



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  • OS10 - Disease and Clinical Management with Technology (ID 16)

    • Event: e-Health 2017 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Clinical and Executive
    • Presentations: 1
    • Coordinates: 6/06/2017, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Room 205B
    • OS10.06 - Self eReferrals for Youth Mental Health: Canadian Research Initiative (ID 258)

      Shalini Lal, CHUM Hospital Research Center; Montreal/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Purpose/Objectives: The majority of mental illnesses begin in adolescence and young adulthood. In Canada, over 75% of youth with mental health concerns do not receive the services and supports they need. Barriers include geographical distances, having to navigate and rely on multiple others for referral, limited choice in terms of when and how to access services, and stigma and embarrassment. Accessing appropriate services can take weeks, months, and even years, while symptoms, distress levels, and risk for suicide can progressively increase over time. Young people are increasingly going online to seek help, creating a need for innovation in online pathways to facilitate young people’s trajectories to mental health systems of care. This presentation will describe a novel eHealth solution to facilitate rapid and direct access to youth mental health services that is currently being developed, implemented and evaluated in 6 Canadian healthcare settings. The eHealth solution is an online self-referral pathway composed of three integrated components: a youth-friendly online self-referral tool, a robust referral management system, and a secure communications platform. The ultimate objective of this innovation is to empower young people to seek help for mental health concerns, and improve the capacity of service providers to efficiently triage, manage, and monitor referral pathways and outcomes.

      Methodology/Approach: The project involves multiple stakeholder collaboration and partnerships between public and private industry, youth and family consultants, service providers, decision makers, and community organizations to adapt, customize, and integrate the eHealth solution in ‘real-world’ settings, and evaluate its benefits and cost-effectiveness. The evaluation is embedded within a larger, multi-site pragmatic trial evaluating a model of service transformation for youth across the country through early case identification, rapid access to services, appropriate care, youth and family participation, and continuity of care. We will also use qualitative methods to document and evaluate the process of tool development, pilot testing, implementation, and impact on referral processes, practices, and experiences from the perspectives of youth, service providers, and families. An economic evaluation will provide insights into the extent to which the eHealth solution adds value in terms of efficiency and cost-savings from a societal perspective.

      Finding/Results: This is a four-year project that is currently underway. The presentation will present the prototype of the online self-referral pathway, highlight key achievements to date, and discuss lessons learned thus far in relation to public-private partnerships, context-driven implementation challenges and opportunities, and youth and family engagement.

      Conclusion/Implication/Recommendations: This project can help to reduce the large unmet need gap in Canada with over 75% of youth with mental health concerns not receiving the mental health services and supports they need, at the time they need it. It can also improve efficiencies within the healthcare system. It will provide a seamless and rapid portal of entry to mental health services offered by the public healthcare system, through modalities popular with youth, ultimately improving young people’s pathways to care. This online self-referral strategy could eventually be scalable to a variety of other types of settings including adult mental health care and other health and social services-related settings.

      140 Character Summary: An innovative online self-referral pathway to facilitate rapid and direct access to youth mental health services in Canada.

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