ABOUT FOUR MONTHS ago, Lisa (name has been changed) was being discharged from Victoria Hospital, part of London Health Sciences Centre, when her social worker provided an option. Lisa had the choice of receiving assistance from a Transitional Case Manager (TCM) from the Community Mental Health Programs (CMHP) branch at Mission Services of London. Engagement with the TCM service is completely voluntary.
Our TCMs are a team of four connected to a greater crisis services continuum within London Middlesex. They are tasked with engaging, connecting and assisting individuals who frequent Emergency Departments or Hospital In-Patient Health Services. They help people who are orphaned from primary health care service, or those experiencing a mental health crisis without connection to resources. For engagements up to nine weeks, TCMs assist individuals with accessing health, mental health, addiction, housing and social services, resulting in fewer admissions to hospital while providing needed support.
“I was happy to be connected to Sharon on the TCM team who helped me with a number of things,” says Lisa. “I had lost my T4 slips. Sharon knew to call Revenue Canada. She took me to the government office and we got the paperwork done. When I needed to contact the hydro company to get that working again, she found the correct number for me to call. She took me to the London Food Bank and to the food program at the Salvation Army. Now I know where to go and which bus to take.”
The Mission Store thrift store has a Voucher Program enabling referred clients to obtain items without cost. “I was able to get a coat, boots, pants and sweaters—all things I needed,” says Lisa.
Lisa is now connected to services through CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Middlesex including their Community Programs for life skills and social interaction. “I’m a people person so I’m really excited about the program,” says Lisa. She is also on a waiting list for their Intensive Case Management one to one support.
“I’m glad I received assistance from a TCM. I wouldn’t have known about the various community services and how to access them. If someone has the choice for this help, I would tell them to say yes.”