IWK

1.902.470.8888

1.888.470.5888

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Telecare: 811
Poison: 1-800-565-8161
5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Acute Inpatient Services

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Who we help

The Garron Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health (acute inpatient care) supports children and youth up to 19 years of age whose mental health and addictions needs are best met in an acute care setting. Children and youth served by the Garron Centre require either:

  1. intense, short-term support to address or resolve a mental health or addictions crisis; OR
  2. longer-term support so that the child or youth, family/caregivers and the inpatient care team can learn more about the mental health or addictions difficulty and determine the best treatment options.

The Garron Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health (acute inpatient care) at the IWK

Children and youth whose mental health and addictions needs would be best met in an acute care setting are admitted to the The Garron Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health (acute inpatient care), a 14-bed unit at the IWK Health Centre. Most inpatient stays are either:

  1. 24 to 48 hours, for those who need short-term support to resolve a crisis; OR
  2. a few  days or more, for those whose mental health difficulties need to be assessed and diagnosed, and treatments recommended.

While in the Garron Centre, children and youth are supported by the inpatient care team, with extensive involvement of family/caregivers. Patients’ safety and care, and the involvement of families/caregivers, are priorities for the care team. The team works hard to create a friendly and caring environment within the secure unit.

What happens on the Acute Inpatient unit

Children and youth staying in the Garron Centre have a daily schedule of activities that includes set wake-up and in-room times, school work, group and individual therapy, goal-setting, reflection time, social and physical activities. 

A child and youth’s specific schedule is determined by what they, their family/caregivers and clinical team think will best meet their mental health or addictions treatment needs. The child or youth and their family/caregivers are expected to participate in all activities in the personalized treatment plan.

Early in the child’s or youth’s stay in the Garron Centre the inpatient care team will start talking about what will happen when the child or youth no longer requires support from the team and is discharged from the unit. The child or youth, family/caregivers and the clinical team will consider how to best support the mental health or addictions needs of the child/youth and develop a discharge plan that meets their treatment and safety needs.

Who you will meet

The inpatient care team includes a range of professionals from different backgrounds who will work with the child or youth and their family/caregivers to best meet their mental health needs. 

  1. Nurses
  2. Social workers
  3. Psychologists
  4. Psychiatrists
  5. Occupational therapist
  6. Recreational therapist and Recreation Therapy Associate
  7. Child life specialist
  8. Teachers
  9. Discharge Coordinator (only when consulted)
  10. Transition Support Worker

The role of families/guardians

The inpatient care team considers the child or youth’s family/caregivers to be the experts. The team will seek information and input from the family/caregivers and involve them in the child or youth’s treatment plan. The reality is, the family/caregivers will most often be the primary support for the child or youth after they are discharged from the unit. Families/caregivers are expected to participate in all activities that apply to them in the child or youth’s treatment plan.

For more information, please see the Patient and Family Handbook.