Associate professor Lesley Lutes, director of clinical training for the PHD program in clinical psychology at UBC Okanagan. Photo: UBC Okanagan

UBC Okanagan mental health clinic to remain open

After a successful five-week pilot project, the drop-in clinic is staying open on campus

A permanent walk-in wellness clinic is staying open on the UBC Okanagan campus.

After its five-week trial, the demand for the no-barrier mental health centre was large enough from students and the community that the doors are to remain open.

“This is a game changer,” said Lesley Lutes, associate professor and director of clinical training for the PhD program in clinical psychology at UBC Okanagan.

“This is a space where community members can drop in for free mental health services without an appointment or referral. It’s changing the way people are accessing care for their mental health.”

READ MORE: Six-foot-five volleyball star joins UBC Okanagan

READ MORE: Okanagan-Shuswap weather: The sun is here; high of 31 C

This is the first public walk-in mental health clinic on a university campus in B.C. The clinic has a two-fold purpose: provide support to community members in distress and train students in the future of health care delivery.

Lutes’ team accommodated more than 50 drop-ins in the five-week unfunded program last fall, helping patients who were experiencing various issues including stress, depression, anxiety, serious mental illness and suicide risk.

“This clinic is for the community. People begin to experience symptoms and don’t know where to go because there is no primary care for mental health,” said Lutes.

“They often don’t seek help until they’re in crisis, and end up in an emergency room where they’re more likely to get medication only, rather than treatments involving therapy.”

READ MORE: Big White staff find skier’s lost wedding ring

In the past decade, emergency room admissions related to mental health have increased 300 per cent, and in 60 per cent of primary care visits, patients report a mental issue. UBC Okanagan’s walk-in-wellness clinic is the first step in Lutes’ ultimate goal of introducing psychologists into primary care.

“We’re here to help. We created this clinic because we know that life is stressful for everyone at times. We want people to know that there is an excellent evidence-based resource available to them free of charge,” said Lutes.

“If you haven’t struggled with anxiety, depression, loss, divorce, substance use or binge eating, odds are someone you care about has. Life is life and it affects us both physically and emotionally—and Okanagan residents deserve health care that treats their whole self.”

READ MORE: Douglas-fir beetle infestation is a provincial crisis: B.C. expert

The walk-in clinic is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. located at the Inter-professional Clinic on UBC Okanagan.

More information can be found at psych.ok.ubc.ca.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna reopens beach volleyball, new pickleball courts

The City of West Kelowna is asking residents to maintain safe distancing

RDCO announces spring poetry contest winners

The district received 70 poems starting from May 1

City prepares for high water at Mission Creek

Property owners are being advised to prepare for flooding

Mother duck and babies rescued from Highway 97 in Lake Country

The mother and nine ducklings were taken to Duck Lake

Non-food vendors coming back to Kelowna farmers’ market this weekend

The Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market is welcoming back several artisans on Saturday

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Chef brings farm-to-table approach to new Shuswap restaurant

Darren Bezanson opening Bistro 1460 at Hilltop Inn

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

Bear fails to interrupt golfers in Vernon

‘It definitely was hard to putt with a bear that close, but we got it done’

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Okanagan toddler airlifted to hospital after suffering serious burns

Vernon’s Advanced Life Support paramedic crew was called to the scene in Enderby Thursday afternoon

Princeton schools ready to open Monday

Parents are must now decide whether their children will go back to… Continue reading

Most Read