A mental health service plaza at a Calgary hospital is under scrutiny after complaints about its design and services.
According to the complaints, the service plaza was designed with a child-centered design, which is seen as limiting mental health care access.
Staff at the Children’s Hospital of Calgary say the service was designed to serve children at the expense of other services, like psychiatric care.
The complaints allege that the design is intended to discourage mental health patients from seeking help for mental illness.
“This is a mental health facility.
It’s designed to accommodate those who need it, but not for those who don’t,” said Michelle Krysinski, a nurse practitioner and chair of the Mental Health Coalition.
It also means that mental health clients aren’t receiving the help they need, Krysinks said.
“[It’s] really difficult for families to find someone who can come in and really help them, because it’s such a difficult situation for people who have a mental illness,” she said.
The Mental Health Centre at the Calgary Children’s hospital was named after the first child diagnosed with a mental disorder at the facility in the 1960s.
Its original purpose was to house children with a variety of mental health needs, including ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression.
In 2014, the hospital was forced to close the Childrens Clinic due to financial pressures.
Now, the Children Hospital is taking the complaints to the city council for approval.
Council’s Mental Health Committee will consider the complaints during a meeting on Thursday.