Victoria Hospital Foundation Announces $1.78 Million Mental Health Investment And Opening Of Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Assessment Unit

Victoria Hospital Foundation has announced a $1.78 million investment in two new mental health initiatives to support patient care at Victoria Hospital and the official opening of the Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Assessment Unit.


The $1.2 million Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Assessment Unit is a dedicated space in Victoria Hospital’s Urgent Care department designed to provide individualized care in a private and supportive environment conducive to recovery. Urgent Care and mental health teams will work in collaboration to provide specialized mental health assessments and care in a calming, home-like environment. This innovative evidence-based model of care leverages the skills, knowledge, and expertise of the inter-professional team to meet the individual’s unique needs. The six-bed unit is the first integrated space of its kind in Manitoba.


Funding for the Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Assessment Unit is made possible through the generosity of Victoria Hospital Foundation’s supporters, including a $500,000 gift from Manitoba Blue Cross. Other significant funding commitments include a $100,000 gift from Canada Life, $60,000 gift from Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg and $25,000 gifts from Johnston Group and Wawanesa Insurance.


“We are grateful for the countless individuals and businesses in our community whose ongoing support is helping to ensure the best mental health care is available close to home, particularly with the increased need we are experiencing as a result of Covid,” said Nicole Chammartin, Executive Director, Victoria Hospital Foundation. “We are especially thankful for the generosity of Manitoba Blue Cross and all early project supporters, whose significant contributions are transforming mental health care at our hospital for thousands of Manitobans.”


This integrated model of care will consist of a patient-centered approach wherein the inter-professional team engages and empowers individuals experiencing mental health concerns in the decision-making process. The combination of evidence-based practices and patient-focused care is anticipated to create the efficiencies necessary for these individuals to experience shorter wait times and hospital stays, while fostering enhanced therapeutic relationships with the care team. This collaborative approach will also enable more timely connections to community and outpatient resources to support improved recovery and quality of life.   


The Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Assessment Unit features six bright and spacious treatment rooms, two of which have the ability to seclude individuals requiring additional monitoring as part of their care plan. The space also features a patient lounge to facilitate social interaction in a safe environment, which is beneficial to healing and recovery. A central team station will enable individuals to benefit from frequent assessment, monitoring, and intervention as needed.


“As our community’s need for mental health care continues to grow, we need to ensure that we have the appropriate settings for individuals to receive the care they need when they need it most,” said Rachel Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer, Victoria Hospital. “This unique patient-centred environment will help to ensure our patients have a safe space to talk openly with psychiatrists and clinicians and know they are being heard.”


Victoria Hospital Foundation will also invest $580,000 in Tranquility Trail, a new greenspace on the grounds of Victoria Hospital to enhance the mental health and wellness of our community and support patients in their recovery. This environment will be designed specifically to support socialization and unique outdoor treatment programming such as arts and crafts, recreation therapy activities, exercise programs, cultural ceremonies, and gardening. Construction on this new healing environment is now underway and is anticipated to be complete in Spring 2023.


To date, Victoria Hospital Foundation has raised over $1 million toward its $1.78 million goal for these projects and will be rallying community support to raise an additional $500,000. Donations can be made at