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New child and youth psychiatric admissions on hold in Prince Albert

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says it has paused new admissions to the child and youth inpatient mental health and psychiatric unit in Prince Albert while recruitment is underway for child and youth psychiatrists.

"The SHA apologizes for any stress or anxiety this may cause, and commits to keeping the Prince Albert community updated on its recruitment efforts. The goal is to have the unit reopened to admissions as soon as possible, pending successful recruitment," a news release said.

At least one full-time child and youth psychiatrist in Prince Albert is required to manage and support the unit. Admissions were paused as of July 18, as the area’s sole child and youth psychiatrist’s resignation is effective Aug. 6.

Two mental health emergency holding beds will be maintained in Prince Albert to support children and youth awaiting urgent child-youth inpatient admission in Saskatoon or Regina. Adolescents 17 and 18 years old needing inpatient care will be managed in the Prince Albert adult unit.

The SHA says it is recruiting to fill two full-time child and youth psychiatry positions for the North East Child and Youth Mental Health and Psychiatry Program in Prince Albert.

It's also working to realign mental health teams to meet the needs of the population.

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