Successful Reintegration of Patients Back into the Community is Key
Dr. Will White: Consider this analogy: people are like sailboats. Under normal circumstances they sail the seas, living their life and everything’s fine. But when people come to need hospital-based mental health care, it means their ship has been capsized or they’ve been washed up on the rocks. They’ve been battered. Their hull is leaking and their mast is broken. The hospital then, is the place where the ships get towed in and taken out of the water into the dry dock. There, we inspect the hull, find the leaks, and make the necessary repairs. Without this new level of care, we end up putting them back in the stormy waters on the open sea and say “Good luck! Hope it works out!” With a step down unit, we’re able to set the ships down in the water to see if their hull and mast holds up. See if they can do a few laps around the harbour in calm water before letting them out to sea. We can determine if our repairs were done correctly and then when we are confident, we can feel good about sending them out on open waters. And then people can hopefully go back to living their lives. That’s why such a program and this new level of care is just so vitally important.