Kids and teens now have a new mental health resource they can turn to during the COVID-19 pandemic: a drive-up mental health vitals clinic.
In a news release from CHEO, the drive-up clinic will be located at CHEO’s Montreal Road location, and will be take the place of the hospital’s virtual health appointments.
CHEO says the clinic will include monitoring for vital signs — a necessary in-person service that’s needed to give the best care possible.
It will also supplement their ongoing virtual care (which about 94 per cent of CHEO’s outpatients are now using) and is designed to keep everyone safe as possible with masking, physical distancing and limited time indoors.
“Many of the kids and teens we care for need this in-person service and can’t keep waiting for it,” said Dr. Marjorie Robb, CHEO’s acting Chief of Psychiatry. “We are happy to be able to provide this important, in-person service in a way that makes them feel comfortable coming in, and is convenient, quick and, above all, safe.”
As Robb adds, virtual care can’t do everything as vital sign check-ups are an essential part of caring for kids and youth with mental health needs — especially if they’re taking medications.
The drive-up clinic is by appointment only, however, who are referred by CHEO’s mental health team.
On the day of the appointments, families will be asked to fill out CHEO’s online self-screening before they go to the Montreal Road location. Once there, they call a designated number and go into a room that has direct access from the outside.
Only one child or youth and their parent or caregiver goes into that room for an appointment at a time.
The waiting room is reserved for anyone arriving by transit.