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Mental Health

Mental Health

Victoria General Hospital's inpatient mental health unit is located on the 6th floor. The mental health program consists of acute adult inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. The inpatient mental health program provides assessment, support, stabilization, and treatment to people experiencing mental illness.

Unit 6
The inpatient unit has a total of 20 beds. Patients receive individualized care from a multidisciplinary team. Patients and families are highly involved in treatment plans and decisions. In addition to one-on-one psychiatrist and nurse counseling, Unit 6 holds a variety of group programs that are an integral part of patient treatment. Psychotropic medications are commonly used and prescribed by the unit's psychiatrists.

Outpatient Program
The outpatient program is located next to the inpatient unit on the North side of the elevators. It is staffed with two Mental Health Liaison Nurses, who provide support, education and crisis intervention to patients and their families. These nurses visit patients in their homes to provide assistance and do ongoing assessments as well as helping patients to integrate with community-based resources.

Questions and Answers

I think I/my family member am/is experiencing mental illness and need admission.
How do I/they get help?

Though inpatient admission is not always necessary, it is imperative to seek help so that mental health professionals can assess and provide you or your family member with support, interventions and resources.

If you are in crisis, or you are concerned about the well-being of a friend or family member, the new Crisis Response Centre provides walk-in, outreach, and scheduled crisis services. It is located at 817 Bannatyne, Winnipeg, Manitoba. You can also call Mobile Crisis Services 24/7 at (204) 940-1781. Mobile Crisis Services provides crisis intervention and can make home visits when necessary.

You may also present to an Emergency, of any hospital where you will be assessed by a Psychiatric Emergency Nurse (PEN), a physician, and/or a psychiatrist. They will determine if you need admission and may provide you with community resources.

If you have a family member or friend who is unwilling to participate in an assessment from any of these sources, and you are concerned about their wellbeing, you may complete a Form #1 under the Mental Health Act (Application for an Order for Involuntary Medical Examination). To do this you must go before a Justice for the Province of Manitoba (ie. Justice of the Peace or Magistrate at the Provincial Court located at 408 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba) under oath with the completed form. (Blank forms are available at the Law Courts building). If the judge agrees he will issue an order to have the person brought in to an emergency for psychiatric assessment.

If you are concerned that you or a family member are at risk of harming yourself or someone else you should contact 911 immediately.

When can my family and friends visit me?
Monday to Thursday 4:00pm – 8:30pm
Friday 12:00pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays 9:00am – 8:30pm

Group programs run on week days. Groups are an important component of inpatient treatment and attendance is expected of patients. Please ensure your family and friends do not visit before 4:00pm on weekdays (other than Friday) due to this. Please make arrangements with your nurse if family or friends may be coming to the unit outside of visiting hours.

We ask that family members/friends check in with a nurse on the unit each time they arrive to visit.

How can my family get a hold of me?
Generally patients are permitted to utilize their personal cell phones.  There may be individual circumstances in which this is not permitted.

There is one patient phone located in the kitchen that is shared between all patients. Patients can be reached on this phone by calling (204) 477-3221 ext. 6318. Calls should be limited to 10 minutes so others can use the phone.

No calls are permitted during group times and between the hours of 10:00pm and 8:00am.

To speak to staff, call (204) 477-3128.

What kind of staff work on the unit?
Unit 6 is staffed with a variety of professionals, including:

  • Program Manager
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologist
  • Nurses
  • Social worker
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Transition Coordinator
  • Recreation Coordinator
  • Spiritual Health
  • Psychiatric Community Nurses
  • Clinical Educator
  • Communication Clerk

Is there anything I can’t keep on me or in my room?
To ensure your safety and the safety of others, the following items will be removed and stored safely in the nurse’s conference room where each patient has a designated “blue bin”.

  • Medications, over the counter medications, vitamins
  • All straps, suspenders and belts (if deemed appropriate and safe, patients may wear their suspenders or belt during the day and hand it in prior to going to bed)
  • Electrical items with cords
  • Purses, wallets, gym bags, overnight bags
  • Sharps ie. Razors, glass, scissors, mirrors, nail clippers/files
  • Matches, lighters, cigarettes
  • Perfumes and scented aftershaves due to patient allergies
  • Cellphones u6

Please DO NOT bring lap tops, DVD players, TVs, any photographic/movie/gaming devices, curling irons or hair straighteners, coat hangers, drugs or alcohol.

When do I get off unit passes?
Usually, when you first become a patient you will not have any off unit privileges for your safety. As the treatment team begins to feel you will be safe going off unit, your psychiatrist will order passes. Passes are an important piece in your mental health recovery. They help you to evaluate your progress, achieve independence, gain confidence, practice coping skills, resume a healthy lifestyle, ease transition from hospital, and minimize discharge anxiety.

Passes are introduced in a progression, often starting with fresh air breaks/smoking privileges on hospital grounds (20 minutes), short passes (2 – 4 hours), day passes (8 hours), overnight passes, and weekend passes. The passes your psychiatrist orders for you will be specified as either accompanied or unaccompanied.

If your pass is accompanied, you must be accompanied by a responsible adult during your entire time away from the unit. The person who is accompanying you must come up to the unit to pick you up, and report to your nurse before leaving the unit and upon return. If the accompanying adult has concerns for your safety or other questions, they should contact the unit and speak to your nurse.

I am a smoker. Will I be able to smoke while I am in hospital?
Victoria General Hospital is a non-smoking facility, thus smoking in the hospital or on hospital grounds is prohibited. Once your psychiatrist orders smoking privileges, you may go outside to the designated smoking area at the edge of the hospital property to smoke.

Cigarettes and lighters are not permitted to be kept in your room. Your cigarettes and lighter will be labeled and kept in the designated smoking bin kept in the nurse’s conference room.Your nurse will advise you of the unit smoking schedule.

Since discharge from Unit 6, I feel I/my family member have/has decompensated and need help.
If you have had help in the past and feel you need help again, there are several options for you. If you have a psychiatrist, community mental health worker, proctor, or a physician, speak to them about your symptoms, how you are feeling, and your concerns. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, speak to a trusted friend or family member and have them stay with you. The Crisis Response Centre provides walk-in, outreach, and scheduled crisis services and is located at 817 Bannatyne, Winnipeg, Manitoba. You can also contact Mobile Crisis Services @ (204) 940-1781 or call 911.You can also present to Emergency at any of the hospitals in the city to be assessed. If you are concerned about a family member, go before a Justice of the Peace or Magistrate to complete a Form #1 under The Mental Health Act (Application for an Order for Involuntary Medical Examination).