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The Community Psychiatric Unit

The Community Psychiatric Unit is a crisis mental health program run in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS), as part of the AHS continuum of mental health care for adolescents and their families who are experiencing significant mental health issues that cannot be managed on an outpatient basis.

The Community Psychiatric Unit provides short-term (7-14 days) care for children (12-17 years) focused on the management and stabilization of acute mental health needs. Referrals come directly from hospital emergency departments or other Alberta Health Services acute care units. The program provides specialized family counselling and mental health support, with the potential for in-home family support and follow-up following discharge.

The top mental health diagnoses in 2015 were:

  1. Depressive disorders
  2. Anxiety disorders
  3. Neuro-developmental disorders
  4. Trauma and stressor related disorders


The Community Psychiatric Unit provides:

  • A streamlined intake process from Alberta Health Services emergency departments or other acute care units
  • Alberta Health Services transportation to the program
  • Family-mediated visitation and brief solution-focused family therapy
  • 24-hour supervision and milieu treatment
  • 24-hour crisis support for children on-site and their families in the community
  • 24-hour nursing services and health monitoring
  • Parenting/caregiver support and mental health education
  • Access to additional therapeutic and assessment services including occupational therapy, expressive arts therapies, speech and language therapy, etc. (at an additional cost)
  • Short-term psychiatric care, and medication management and review
  • Access to specialized on-site educational services
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI)
  • In-home follow-up family support



Clients enter the program on referral from Alberta Health Services’ Child and Adolescent Addiction and Mental Health Programs (CAAMHP) and Health Link.

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