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Because your voice matters.

Vernon Working Group: Improving Mental Health and Substance Use Transitions from Emergency to Community Services

Posted • Last updated


Open to Interior Region, Patient partners in and around Vernon

Last updated

Hospital emergency departments are, in many cases, the front line for health care in British Columbia. The ability of health care providers to support a smooth transition for people with lived mental health and substance use experience to community programs is crucial to their path for better health and well-being.  Interior Health needs your ideas to tackle this complicated transition process by joining their working group focused on improving the patient experience.

Open to: Patient partners in and around Vernon

Lead Organization or Department

Interior Health - Mental Health and Substance Use


The Interior Health, Mental Health Substance Use (MHSU) department is working hard to improve quality of care for patients as they transition through care, from emergency to ongoing community care. It is important that patients have a voice in this work to ensure the processes and supports we are planning are effective and valuable. Patient partners will be an active part of the working group, and will be encouraged to participate in the creation and planning on a local level that has a regional reach.

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.  


This engagement is ideal for patient partners who:
  • have experience with the emergency department from a mental health and/or substance use perspective, either personally or with a family member/friend.
  • are willing to participate in monthly meetings.
  • are comfortable providing input and feedback, either in real time or later on a more individual basis.
NOTE: If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and volunteer agreement, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact the engagement leader directly.  


  • Vacancies: 2
  • Format: Can be in person at the hospital or linked in by WebEx/Teleconference.
  • Frequency: Monthly 2 hour meetings, every 4 weeks on Thurdays at 1030.
  • Commitment: One week up to 6 months


All pre-approved travel expenses will be reimbursed.


This working group is currently running with members from the hospital, Aboriginal Services, MHSU community and inpatient units, psychiatry, allied health and leadership. We are tasked with coming up with processes and tools to ensure improved quality of care for patients, support decreasing Emergency Department congestion, decrease avoidable re-hospitalizations and providing appropriate support and follow up for MHSU patients. The project focusses on the patient journey through the emergency department (ED) and considers four phases of the care: 1. How patients come into ED, 2. Patient care within ED, 3. How the community reaches in to support patients while they are in ED and 4. How the community MHSU services follow up after discharge from ED. It is important to have patient voices at the table to ensure the processes and supports we are planning are effective and valuable. The patient partner will be an active part of the working group, encouraged to participate in the creation and planning on a local level that has regional reach.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Jacquelyne Foidart
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Thompson Cariboo


From Our Community

Cherie Mercer

Patient Partner, New Aiyansh

Cherie Mercer

I have learned so much about innovation and capacity building by being part of PVN. I signed up to build my leadership skills, however, I experience benefits for myself, my community and Indigenous peoples throughout the province. I understand more about the complexities and opportunities required to improve health care.