COVID-19 SLFNHA Service Updates

Nodin Mental Health Services

Nodin Mental Health Services has been providing mental health services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, either by phone/Ontario Telemedicine Network, or in-person counselling at our main office. All staff are back in the office and below details each of Nodin’s services and how they are supporting clients and communities currently.  Please disregard any previous service updates from Nodin CFI as phone numbers, for example, changed.

Main Reception

Nodin’s main reception continues to operate, connecting callers to services and staff. The number for reception is 807-737-4011 and the toll-free number is 1-800-446-7863.

Intake Service

Intake continues to operate and receives referrals, including self-referrals.  Fax referrals to 807-737-7532 and/or if you have questions or are self-referring please call Linda Chikane-Chapman, Intake Manager, at 807-737-6142.  Referral forms can be found on SLFNHA’s website and/or by calling the Intake Manager.

Outpatient Mental Health Service:

  • Providing in person services for SLMHC ER referrals of a more acute
  • No travel arrangements made for community members to attend counselling in Sioux
  • Additional supports will be offered via OTN/Phone as
  • Travelling counsellors will be Tele-Working and not providing in community services. Instead, they will be reaching out to current caseloads via OTN/Phone.

On-Call Service

Nodin CFI On-Call workers provide phone monitoring outside regular office hours for a period of seven days:  Monday to Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 24 hours on weekends and statutory holidays. On-Call does not provide one-on-one counselling in-office.  This service is only available to clients currently attending Nodin’s Outpatient Mental Health Service and communities who call to arrange support following a community tragedy/crisis.

If new referrals are received outside regular office hours or on weekends and statutory holidays, it is important for referral sources to know that it is extremely challenging for on-call to locate individuals of high acuity after-hours or on weekends, often contact does not happen.  Nodin does not provide one-on-one counselling face-to-face after hours and/or on weekends/stats.

For this reason, we ask that high acuity individuals remain in-patient and monitored by the referral source, not discharged to Nodin unless they are thoroughly assessed as safe to be received for outpatient support and they have a safety plan in place.  Due to the high demand required of our on-call service to respond to community tragedies and support offered to our Outpatient Mental Health clients, we are not equipped with appropriate resources to monitor high risk cases.  Each shift only has one On-Call Supervisor and one On-Call Worker.  If an individual is assessed as safe to be received for outpatient services, Nodin will accept to see these individuals Monday to Friday between 8:30-4:30 pm.

For More Information call:

After Hours/ Weekends and Holidays:
On-Call Worker (Cell: 807-737-9257)

On-Call Supervisor (Cell: 807-737-9256)

Crisis Response Program:

No changes to this service, staff are teleworking but responding to all calls. Any requests for support in community must be cleared by the community’s Pandemic

 

          Nishnawbe Aski Nation Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program

          NAN HOPE

          1-844-NAN-HOPE (626-4673)

          www.nanhope.ca

          (Launched August 10, 2020) ***phone, text, chat***

 

In response to the identified need to have timely mental health and addiction support available to all NAN community members during this Covid-19 pandemic, NAN in collaboration with Regional Health Authorities, Tribal Councils, and community organizations, the “Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic response Program” called NAN-HOPE was designed and launched August 10, 2020.

NAN HOPE is a telephone and Virtual Rapid Access Centre that offers 3 services:

  • 24/7 toll free line – 1-844-NAN-HOPE (626-4673) rapid access to confidential crisis services
  • Navigation – connect to on-gong mental health and addiction support services in home communities and existing regional supports
  • Rapid Access to clinical and mental health counselling

Calls, texts and chats are first picked up by Dalton Associates (large mental health organization in the south who have experience working with First Nations) and not by Nodin.

In the spirit of collaboration and to enhance support to community members within SLFNHA’s catchment area, Nodin Mental Health Services also developed a team who are on schedule to receive calls transferred by Dalton to our team to provide supportive counselling.  Having Nodin’s team available too, offers a means for individuals to connect with those who are familiar with our region and who can support briefly and/or make referrals to Nodin or other partners for longer-term support.  Dalton also will connect individuals to other mental health supports (e.g. Tribal Council Mental Wellness Teams, community mental health workers).

When calls are received through Dalton, they are triaged and type of response ranges.  Dalton has counsellors available immediately to respond to callers who need immediate crisis intervention.  If deescalated and/or someone is calling that is not in a crisis state, calls can be transferred to Nodin’s team, Tribal Council teams, community mental health workers etc.  The goal is to make sure callers have immediate response.  If the situation is acute, Dalton’s team does not transfer to Nodin but deals directly with the situation.

The line is open to callers experiencing a mental health and/or addictions issue who require support.  They do not have to be in an acute crisis.  Services include:  24/7 rapid access support line, 24/7 emergency/crisis support line, triage and live service navigation support, access to on-call counsellors, and on-going case management.  If you have more questions please call the NAN HOPE line.

Travelling Mental Health Counsellors:

The usual practice has been for Mental Health Counsellors to travel into assigned communities to provide counselling.  Due to the pandemic, all travel has stopped.  Instead, the counsellors have been providing telephone/OTN counselling.  Some communities have been open to having counsellors travelling in, but this is only if community leadership permits this and COVID-19 safety protocols are followed.

Note:  Travelling counsellors have case lists made up of individuals who have been referred to Nodin.  If there are individuals who want counsellors to see them in-community and at this time through OTN and/or telephone, referrals must be sent to our intake service.  NOTE:  please call the intake department to ask if Nodin has a counsellor assigned to a specific community as there are vacancies.  All new referrals can be made by sending a referral by fax to our Nodin Intake department at 807-737-7532.

Youth School Counsellors:

  • Sioux North High School Counsellors continue to provide services as long as the school remains They will also be reaching out to current caseloads via OTN/Phone.
  • Pelican Falls Frist Nations High School Counsellors are tele-working. They will be reaching out to current caseloads via OTN/Phone.

Children’s Mental Health and Addictions Workers

  • Will provide services based on individual community restrictions

 Traditional Healing:

  • Case by case requests for support will be managed

Mental Health Support to Hostel:

Nodin recognizes how the hostel staff and visitors in isolation at the hostel may require mental health support.  As per request from the hostel, Nodin is providing counselling to any staff at the hostel who require support during this pandemic and also counselling support is available to any hostel visitor who has to isolate in the hostel.  Posters of this service were sent to  the hostel.

Crisis Response and Harm Reduction Mobile Outreach Team:

Nodin Mental Health Services has joined a collaborative project administered by Northwestern Health Unit Sioux Lookout. The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), Sioux Lookout Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) and Canadian Mental Health Association, Kenora Branch (CMHA) will be working together on a Crisis Response and Harm Reduction Mobile Outreach Team for Sioux Lookout. Project duration:  2020-2024.

The Crisis Response and Harm Reduction Mobile Outreach Team is a client-focused program that efficiently connects healthcare professionals with individuals having complex needs who are unable to access or navigate the healthcare system via traditional streams. The goals of the team include collaboration amongst local and regional services providers for timely access to services, enhancing access to primary care, harm reduction and crisis response for those living with substance abuse and mental health issues in Sioux Lookout, and reducing the number of incidents that result in emergency department visits and criminal charges. Outreach allows for the team to meet individuals where they are at and help them access appropriate services.

The team consists of nurses, 2-Nodin Counsellors, and a physician to increase capacity around crisis response, harm reduction and case management. The project also supports an after-hours call-in/text line managed by Nahnahda-Wee-ee-Waywin that provides 24/7 crisis intervention services to individuals in local and remote communities.

Nodin is in the process of recruiting for the counsellor positions.

COVID-19 Regional Response

Approaches to Community Wellbeing (ACW)’s Public Health Physician, Dr. John Guilfoyle, is coordinating SLFNHA’s COVID-19 Regional Response (CRRT). The Director of Approaches to Community Wellbeing is on that team, coordinating public health operations.

Public Health Operations:

  • Supporting health promotion, public health tools and checklists to support program delivery and response at the community-level and supporting capacity around case and contact management of COVID-19.
  • Providing incident management system and basic emergency management trainings. Our staff also participate on the Planning team, which supports COVID-19 surveillance, strategic planning, and evaluating our response to

Ongoing ACW Services

COVID-19 Vaccination

  • Provided health promotion materials related to the COVID-19 vaccination, in partnership with the SLFNHA communications department.
  • Supports communities in their planning and implementation of their own health promotion strategies and clinic operations.
  • Currently Operation Remote Immunity is coming to an end and we are planning how those who need their second dose will receive
  • Working with partners to discuss ongoing availability of the vaccine in
  • Supporting the road access communities in their vaccination programs, which are underway now.

Harm Reduction

  • While responding to COVID-19, ACW is maintaining our essential services. This includes ongoing harm reduction supply distribution (i.e., safe injection kits and naloxone).
  • Supporting program direction and training

Roots for Community Wellbeing

  • Maintain the immunization repository by entering immunization data and answering calls for information about immunization

Preventing Infectious Diseases

  • Provide case and contact management support for

Raising our Children

  • Engage with youth workers and youth through email and the Anishinabe Youth
  • Providing packages to people who deliver babies in Sioux Lookout with baby supplies and supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Services will continue to be provided virtually as much as possible.
  • Complex care case coordinators are very active helping families during these difficult times. The team is assisting with those individual Jordan’s Principle applications that can be approved at our level, ordered, and paid for by SLFNHA (these are regularly requested items under 10,000).
  • Clinical staff have been vaccinated and with a negative rapid covid test are traveling to communities who are willing to approve our travel. These include audiology, Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech language pathology, psychology, autism diagnostic service, and FASD diagnostic service.
  • Our clinic coordinators continue to reach to pandemic leads and community leadership on a weekly basis to see what community parameters are in place.
  • In-House staff rotating schedule has been put on hiatus and only essential workers are working in- person at the Primary Care Team building at 55 Queen
  • Allied Health Professionals are still seeing clients, predominantly via virtual means or via telephone.
  • Some clients may be seen in-person, based on virtual assessment by the Allied Health Professionals.
  • Travel to those communities that have agreed to receive Allied Health Services will continue – presently there are ten community visits planned for the month of March 2021 – this is based on community direction and dependant on the status of the pandemic in communities.
  • JMK Hostels will open 24/7 as this operation is deemed to be an essential service.
  • Employees have been and are being vaccinated.
  • All services provided at JMK Hostels will be available and includes Accommodation, Ground Transportation, Security, Dietary, Housekeeping, Laundry, Maintenance, Front Desk, Wellness and Guest Services, Airport Interpreter, Dispatch and Discharge Coordinator.
  • All clients required to comply mandatory wearing for masks, practise 2m social distancing, hand sanitizing, and frequent handwashing.
  • Isolation rooms available at JMK 1 hostel for those requiring precautionary measures.
  • After-hour ground transportation is available for clients discharged late from medical facilities and vehicles are sanitized after use.
  • Limit of one person per room unless sharing with an immediate family member/escort.
  • No visitor policy for JMK 1 & 2 in effect for duration of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Limit of 2 persons per ground transportation trip unless all are in the same family.
  • Mandatory completion for covid-19 screening for clients and staff entering JMK 1 & 2 Hostels.
  • Connecting link access between SLMHC Hospital and JMK 1 Hostel is closed until further notice.
  • Wellness checks completed for each guestroom on a daily basis.
  • Physicians continue to work out of the Northern Clinic when scheduled.

The Northern Clinic is operating as usual, with the following restrictions:

  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Escorts are asked to wait outside of the clinic (Social Distancing Guidelines)
  • Clients will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 (not to be alarmed all clinics have implemented the screening process to stop the spread of COVID-19)

Clients requiring an appointment/contact with their family physician are asked to call the Northern Clinic, where they will be assessed. They would then be provided with a phone consult appointment, telehealth appointment or potentially on-site appointment with their physician or nurse practitioner.