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Because your voice matters.

Member, Community Mental Health and Substance Use Access Project

Posted • Last updated


Open to Interior Region, Patient partners in the Vernon area

Last updated

As part of a Quality Improvement project in Vernon, we are currently looking at improving our process for patients accessing mental health and substance use (MHSU) services in the community. We’re mapping out the current process (looking at all ways of accessing MHSU services), then looking at ways we can improve this process for patients and providers (both within MHSU and our external partners). We would very much like to include a patient/family perspective during this process.

Open to: Patient partners in the Vernon area

Lead Organization or Department

Interior Health - Quality and Patient Safety


We are looking to create a process for accessing community mental health and addictions services that is clear, "user friendly", efficient, effective and sustainable. While we are wanting to get a full picture of the current process and see where improvements can be made, we want to ensure that any changes we make do not negatively impact the patients or family members at the heart of it. In fact, we'd like the new process to be better for all involved! The patient partner would be included at the mapping session, where we outline the current process of access. He / she would be able to provide input on patient experiences at each of the stages defined and would help to identify barriers, difficulties, and inconsistencies in the process that might not be as visible to the clinicians and partners. We would also like to include the patient/family partner at the subsequent session where we look at some of the challenges and difficulties identified at the previous session and then we use this to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement. A patient perspective could help us not only in identifying opportunities with more benefit to the patient, but also identifying where a proposed change might negatively impact patients/ families in other ways.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of involve on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will involve patients in planning and design phases to ensure ideas or concerns are considered and reflected in alternatives and recommendations.


  • Previous or current connection with community MHSU as a client or family member, ideally having connected with services within the past five years
  • Available for location, date, time and frequency as below
  • Comfort telling their story


Vacancies: 1 Location, Date, Time and Frequency:
  • Dec 10th and 12th
  • Meetings will be held at Vernon Jubilee Hospital


Other than parking at the hospital for the two half-days (which we will cover), there are no out of pocket expenses associated with this project.


Our current intake / access process for connecting patients with community mental health services is not sustainable. Further, it appears that a lot of time is spent (by various people on various teams) doing either duplicate work or work that has questionable value. There has recently been a reorg in Interior Health that has brought many of these previously separate teams together into one "Access Team". We would like to take the opportunity now to come together and help define what this new team is going to look like and the improvements we can make on the process now that we are working together in a more formal way.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Carol Stathers
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Okanagan, Interior Region

From Our Community

Ovey Yeung

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Ovey Yeung

Being involved in the Patient Voices Network has broadened my understanding of the system and helped me empathize with health care challenges and limitations. What matters to me is to walk away feeling that my experience matters, that I matter!