How We are Unique

The MHA program takes great pride in our exceptional service and accomplishments. The following are a few examples of how the IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program is unique:

The IWK’s MHA Program is currently the only program in Canada that provides an integrated approach to treating mental health and addictions concurrently. Research has shown that this is a more effective approach in helping youth recover from their addictions and continue to live a productive lifestyle after they are finished with treatment. The IWK, with the help of many community partners connect youth to transition support including: social supports, extra-curricular activities, employment, (if needed) the adult mental health services etc.

Being the first Canadian child and youth mental health program to adopt the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) demonstrates how the IWK is a leading hospital in Canada. CAPA is a best-practice clinical system that has been implemented in many child and adolescent health teams across Australia and New Zealand. It is a collaborative approach between the clinician and the patient whereby the patients and their families are actively involved in their own treatment plan.

Embedded in a teaching and research health centre, the MHA program supports and encourages our clinicians to pursue best-practice models. Many of our clinicians are working on independent research projects internally. As well, through the IWK’s affiliations with Dalhousie University, many of our clinical staff are involved with research at Dalhousie and some even pursued the opportunity to become adjunct professors. In addition to the above, we strongly support and encourage our staff’s professional development.

In addition to a structured internal education program which includes the convenience of e-source learning, we support staff both financially and with the time to pursue external education opportunities to enhance and develop their core and specialist skills.