M. Alexander, B. Cooper
Transitions in care (client discharge, transferring and re-entering) are consistent challenges for Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) programs. This was evident from the 2012 Ontario EPI survey, the 2015 provincial consultation process, and the Fall 2017/Winter 2018 EPION Strategic Planning process.
The MOHLTC EPI Standards, published 2011, include one related standard. Standard 6: ‘Graduation from the Program’ notes the time-limited nature of EPI programs and the importance of linking clients to new services upon graduation. However, no detailed guidance is offered with no reference to disengagement and readmission. This gives rise to inconsistent practices across and even within programs.
In response to this clearly recognized need, EPION identified “facilitating stakeholder dialogue around ‘Transitions in Care’” as a priority in its Strategic Plan (2018 – 2021) and undertook a consultation process over a number of months. This process included a brainstorming session at the network meeting level, a day-long dedicated focus group, follow- up e-mail and phone conversations, and a report-writing group. It involved participation across the province – from urban and rural, large and small programs. Representation included individuals and family members with lived experience, EPI managers and a range of EPI clinical disciplines.
The final consultation report was submitted to the network in May 2019, with the goal of stimulating further discussion, creativity & action. The report recognizes that developing appropriate and locally viable practice is a work in progress.