Sooke Region Mental Health and Addictions Services Inventory

 

Background

At the Sooke Health Forum in 2018, Island Health highlighted Sooke residents’ Mental Health needs (depression in particular) were relatively higher when compared with the rest of Vancouver Island. To note, Sooke is a service hub for neighbouring CRD localities East Sooke, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River and Port Renfrew and First Nations reservations Scia’new, T’Sou-ke and Pacheedaht. The total population of the Sooke Region is around 18,000 people.

 

There is a general understanding that people suffering from mental health issues may choose to not be assisted in Sooke as there is still a stigma around mental illness, and will prefer to travel to West Shore and Victoria to access services. There is also the reverse side of the coin, where the services may not exist in Sooke or if they exist the waiting list is too long to expect any assistance in the near future and need to travel further afield to get support, which can be logistically challenging. Unfortunately, because of logistical barriers, some individuals do not seek needed care, which exacerbates their condition.

 


Purpose

The objective is to accumulate quantitative and qualitative data describing challenges and impacts that are experienced by service providers, consumers and family/caregivers. Building upon this information, the Sooke Region Communities Health Network (SRCHN) seeks to undertake an inventory and analysis of current mental health and addiction services in Sooke.

 

Project

SRCHN established a Mental Health and Addictions working group to support with this project. Its members include a retired public health nurse, a mental health support worker and a retired psychologist and university professor, the latter will advise the group on the process, content of the survey and final report. This tool will identify with more clarity the actual and expected future service needs. 

This project will start June 2020 and be completed in its entirety by November 2020 at the latest.

Phase One: Preparing the package (2 WEEKS)

In consultation with the Mental Health and Addictions working group, a coordinator will assemble a complete presentable and user-friendly survey package, in order to accumulate the most accurate data possible.

To provide “ethics clearance” for this project, support will be sought by three academics in the field, who are not associated with this project. This ethics committee will review the surveys and the process to confirm that our approach is academically rigorous and relevant, before commencing with the project.

 

Phase Two: Surveying Service Providers, Consumers, Families & Caregivers of Mental Health & Addiction Services (12 WEEKS)

The working group has already identified over 35 service agencies to participate in this assessment, many of which have already agreed to provide their input to this project.

Service providers are located in Sooke, West Shore and Victoria, which are known to serve Sooke Region residents. The agencies will be presented with a package, which will include:

  • an introduction of SRCHN

  • the project description

  • three different survey templates for service providers, consumers and families/caregivers.

  • Audio recording request form

 

The reasoning behind supplying surveys for consumers and families/caregivers is that service providers are considered to be the gateway to many of the prospective respondents in these categories. Where respondents prefer written surveys, the documents will include multiple choice questions followed by room for comments and elaborations. When evaluating degrees of preference, we have chosen to provide a scale of 1-5.

The survey for the service providers will include:

  • Services provided and population served by type of conditions/diagnosis and geographic area covered.

  • Acceptance criteria

  • Type of clientele served, diagnoses

  • Number of clients

  • Frequency and duration of visits

  • Average waiting list times

  • Referral processes to this service

  • Referral process from this service

  • Follow-up of client

  • Challenges/constraints/trends/future predictions

  • Comments

 

Interviews will be done in person, by telephone or video chat, depending upon the individual service provider’s preference.

The consumers and families/caregivers will be approached through service providers, but other self-identified community members will be encouraged to participate through news releases etc. They will be provided with a similar package as the service providers, but will receive the relevant survey only. The surveys will be conducted through individual interviews or focus groups – depending upon interviewees’ preferences.

The consumer survey will address the following domains:

  1. Home living

  2. Things you do

  3. Your health

  4. Family and friends

  5. You and your family

  6. Self image

  7. Your leisure time

  8. Your finances

  9. Your employment

  10. You and the law

  11. The help you want

  12. How you feel about life

  13. Final comments

 

In a similar manner, the family/caregiver survey will address:

  1. Background of family

  2. Health of the family

  3. Financial wellbeing

  4. Family relationships

  5. Support from other people

  6. Support from relevant services

  7. Support from values

  8. Careers and preparing for careers

  9. Leisure and enjoyment of life

  10. Overall family quality of life

  11. Final comments

 

Information protection[1]

The staff conducting the survey shall comply with the provincial privacy provisions and regulations in the course of conducting the survey. The staff conducting the survey will use and/or disclose the data, information, reports, material or other documents of any nature which are disclosed, revealed or transmitted to them, or to which they have access, solely for the purpose of conducting the survey. Staff will ensure that personal information used during the survey shall be retained in accordance with regulation and will ensure that any personal information to be disposed of upon completion of the survey. Audio recordings may be taken to assure accuracy of information only, and will be erased before the end of this project. Permission will be requested in advance. Names of individual respondents will not be recorded on documents, but in order to identify survey responses by survey type a coding system will be adopted.

 

 

Phase Three: Analysis & Community Forum (6 WEEKS)

Last phase is handling the information and making it all presentable to the public.

  • Collate data

  • Develop a comprehensive inventory of current mental health services in Sooke (including services in the West Shore and Victoria accessed by Sooke residents)

  • Conduct an analysis of data to identify strengths, challenges, gaps, barriers, and opportunities (including wait times)

  • Produce a report of findings to be shared with all stakeholders including the Primary Health Care Services Working Group

  • Share this information in a Community Forum open to the general public


The final report, which will include recommendations, will be shared with all relevant parties and those who might find it of interest.

 

Impact of this research

The reality that Mental Health and Addictions are significant health concerns in Sooke is not news to health care professionals and consumers. However, this report is expected to show more precisely the discrepancy between MHSA service type and quantity of demand versus the availability of service, and the variance of perception of service provided and received. Results will inform Primary Care Network service delivery in the Sooke Region and impact the overall design of health conversations taking place in our communities.

[1] Protection of privacy and information best practices will be adhered to: https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/best-practices-for-protecting-individual-privacy-in-conducting-survey-research.pdf

© 2015 by Sooke Region Communities Health Network.

 

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