A $2.3-million program that provides wraparound care to youths and young adults injured by violence provided help for nearly 200 people in its first five months, decreasing their risk of continued physical harm while reducing patient traffic to HSC Winnipeg’s emergency department, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.
“Studies show youth and young adults who have experienced violence face a higher risk of violence in the future,” said Gordon. “This program will ensure they are connected to a multi-disciplinary team to provide access to a number of services they need for up to a year, including mental health and addictions supports, so they can move forward with their lives.”
The Community-Emergency Department Violence Intervention Program (CEDVIP) assists individuals between the ages of 14 and 29 who present to emergency departments at HSC Winnipeg and HSC Children’s Hospital with violence-related injuries. Individuals who accept CEDVIP services, performed in partnership with the Downtown–Point Douglas Community Area and Housing Supports and Service Integration program, receive wraparound care in the community for approximately one year.
CEDVIP sees youth and young adults who have visited emergency departments at HSC Winnipeg with violence-related injuries referred to the program and connected to a multidisciplinary team, including a support worker. The team then connects the client with needed supports to address the issues putting them at risk for future violence including mental health/addictions support, primary care, employment and income assistance, and educational opportunities.
HSC Winnipeg’s emergency departments treat more than 1,000 youth or young adults for injuries caused by violence each year. Of these, about 20 per cent will return within a year with at least one subsequent injury due to violence.
“This investment increases access to these services for young people in need, including wraparound care in the community for a year,” said Justice Minister Cameron Friesen. “The program will help address the issues that put them at risk for future violence and ensure the best possible outcomes.”
Implemented in May 2020, CEDVIP had provided services to 179 individuals as of Sept. 30, 2020. The program itself builds on a previous violence intervention pilot program at HSC Winnipeg that saw a 10 per cent decrease in repeat violent-related injuries amongst participants while ensuring they obtained safe housing, addressed mental health and addictions issues, and improved engagement in education. CEDVIP improves upon that template by integrating hospital staff with existing community-area services to create a comprehensive plan of care for individuals.
“Making timely connections in our emergency departments with victims of violence and providing them with the necessary, trauma-informed supports specifically created to suit their individual needs – both in hospital and in the community – reduces the chances they will continue to be victims of violence,” said Dr. Jill Geurts, an emergency physician at HSC Winnipeg. “CEDVIP also provides these individuals with the supports needed to find a path forward for those needing stable housing, as well as for those battling addiction or mental health issues.”
Gordon said this funding fulfils recommendations made in the VIRGO report, which included immediate funding for the expansion of services for children and youth.
Funding for the program, to be spread over three years, is being provided under the Canada–Manitoba Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addictions Services Funding Agreement. Since October 2019, the Manitoba government has committed $42 million toward initiatives that will improve mental health and addictions services throughout the province.
To read the VIRGO report, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/mha/strategy.html.
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