CAPE is an emergency assessment and stabilization unit. A holistic bio-psycho-social approach is applied at all stages of the child’s care.
For diagnostic assessment, the following MAY occur:
- daily psychiatric interviews
- family meetings
- gathering of information from communities, schools, and families
- nursing care and observation
- laboratory testing *
- standardized questionnaires *
- medical imaging *
- pediatric medical investigations and consultations *
- consultations to other specialists if necessary (e.g. neurology, endocrinology)
For emergency stabilization, CAPE provides a low-stimulus, closely monitored environment to try and reduce the child’s distress. CAPE staff provide active, compassionate support and psychological education. An emphasis on identifying the child’s strengths and needs allows the staff to work on problem-solving.
For emergency stabilization, medications or high-acuity monitoring may be required on the CAPE unit. Guardians will be notified immediately if this is necessary.
After emergency stabilization, the priority becomes examining and adjusting community treatments, addressing family needs and coordinating the necessary community medical follow-up.
Discharge planning is an ongoing, continuous function of the CAPE unit, as stays are typically only up to 5 days.Length of stay
Variable, but typically between 1 to 5 days.
The CAPE unit accepts patients by direct physician-to-physician referral only.
If a child is in crisis, please access your closest local emergency department by presenting directly to hospital or calling 9-1-1. Please see How to Find Mental Health & Substance Use Help in BC for a list of crisis services.
Discharge planning begins at admission. Community resources are identified, referrals made, and invitations extended for community workers to attend discharge meetings. Children who cannot be safely discharged and who require further assessment and stabilization are referred to a longer-stay inpatient unit.
Discharge meetings involve CAPE staff, parents / caregivers or MCFD Guardian, the patient (depending on age), and community care providers wherever possible. Admission histories and discharge summaries are forwarded to family physicians, referring psychiatrists, community mental health teams, and other community care providers.