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London program offers easy access to care for youth with first episode mood & anxiety concerns

When psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Osuch first joined the London Health Sciences Centre in 2005 as the Rea Chair of Affective and Anxiety Disorders, the mandate of her position was to conduct functional brain imaging research on mood and anxiety disorders. As her research progressed, she realized that the youth participating in her study were unable to quickly access the psychiatric care they needed. Some of the younger participants would end up on waiting lists that were one to two years long, others would wind up cycling in and out of the emergency department or would be referred to adult psychiatric facilities.

So, Dr. Osuch expanded her research program to include clinical care and health care delivery evaluation research for youth with mood and anxiety concerns. With this change, the First Episode Mood & Anxiety Program (FEMAP) was born in 2006. At full capacity, the program sees about 250 new youth per year. Through FEMAP, youth with mood or anxiety disorders in the London-Middlesex region are able to directly and rapidly access psychiatric care without a physician’s referral.

EENet’s Andrea Flynn has produced a new edition in the Promising Practices series, focused on this program and the approach it takes to providing services for youth with first episode mood and anxiety concerns. Click below to read the full story.

Promising Practices profiles innovative practices and initiatives from around Ontario.

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Categories: Children / Youth , Mental Health

Source: Elizabeth Osuch