Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Service (HSC)

Service Overview

The WRHA Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program, HSC Site provides emergency psychiatric consultation to emergency room physicians at the Health Sciences Centre, Children's Hospital.  Emergency coverage is provided during daytime, nighttime and weekend hours.  The Children's Hospital is the tertiary children's health care centre for the Province of Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, as well as part of Nunavut.  Children and adolescents present to the emergency room with primary psychiatric problems or other medical problems with secondary psychiatric sequelae that require emergency psychiatric consultation.  There are currently ten child and adolescent psychiatrists who provide psychiatric consultation to the emergency room during daytime hours.  A biopsychosocial assessment approach is taken in order to determine a diagnosis as well as treatment needs in the acute presentation. 

A variety of diagnostic categories are represented in the emergency room including Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Eating Disorders, Adjustment Disorders as well as evolving personality pathology.  From time to time psychosocial and systemic emergencies also present to the Children's Emergency requiring psychiatric consultation.  As well as physician input, a psychiatric emergency nurse is often available to provide additional assessment both for the emergency room physician as well as the psychiatrist on-call.

In addition to clinical service, education is an important component to the Child and Adolescent Emergency Psychiatric Service.  During a core or elective rotation, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry residents will spend one half day per week providing coverage to the Children's Emergency with attending staff supervision.  This provides the resident with experience in not only assessing and treating psychiatric emergencies but also to provide a liaison to emergency room physicians as well as other systems and families as deemed appropriate.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. A. Craig Downs
Service Chief
PZ162 PsycHealth Centre 771 Bannatyne Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3E 3N4
Phone:(204) 787-5061
Fax:(204) 787-4975