“Yes, and…” – Improv of an EPIS program to meet the needs of a rural health region.


S. Lukin, N. Gagnon

Our Early Intervention Service offers a promising practice to provide more intensive, more comprehensive care than the other mental health programs available in this region. This is of-coarse an intentional part of every Early Intervention Model and best practice. But we are routinely challenged to provide care to those who would be excluded by EPIS services in larger centers where a large amount of referrals enables them to prioritize loyalty to the model over accommodating the public need. In our city we have no PACT team. In our rural towns we have no specialized PSR or EPIS services. The services in most Indigenous communities is even less. We are often the best service to care for “difficult to reach clients” because of our low caseloads and commitment to a lengthy engagement period and intentional family involvement. Because of the EPIS model and because of the needs of our region we carry a responsibility to say “yes” and accept referrals that might be otherwise excluded from more stringent EPIS programs. Much like improv comedy we must say “Yes, and…we’ll make these accommodations” to suit this need. Our poster will tell you about the flexibility, creativity and accommodations we have made to help serve the needs of our communities.

Clinicians Family Members Lived Experience Managers Peer Support Workers Researchers