Written by Karen Tee, Project Leader, Mental Health & Substance Use

Meet the new members of this team, whose skills and experience best match the needs of the youngsters who will need this support.

Kids are not little adults. So whether they are well or ill, they need to be treated differently. With this top of mind, a specialized team has been assembled for Fraser Health’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU) – a team whose skills and experience best match the needs of the youngsters who will need this support. The unit opens at Surrey Memorial Hospital May 29.

“Totally keen, committed and passionate about working with children and adolescents.” That’s how CAPSU manager, Karen Tee, describes the more than 30 members of this new health care team. The team includes psychiatrists, nurses, youth care counsellors, social workers, occupational therapists and a clinical pharmacy specialist, as well as the other supports such as parents-in-residence, and administrative clerks.

The unit’s unique environment and program have attracted professionals from diverse backgrounds and experience. And it says a lot about CAPSU, that outside of the physicians, all but two of the team were hired from within Fraser Health.

“We have a recently graduated nurse, one with 25 years' experience as a youth care counsellor, one who worked with children with developmental delays and children with autism and some who have been working with adults but have come back to children and youth as that is where their passion is,” Karen said

Fraser Health has recruited five child psychiatrists who will work at CAPSU, says Dr. Shruthi Eswar, regional division head, child, youth and young adult mental health. And among the new recruits are the first two hires from Fraser Health’s Core Residency Training, a part of the Psychiatry Residency Program since 2012 – a marked success.

“The psychiatrists come from international and local regions and bring a wealth of experience and strong commitment to supporting the young patients of this acute inpatient unit,” said Dr. Eswar.

“CAPSU is new for all of us, and the team is excited about doing what has not been done before, about the chance to be innovative and to create an evolving culture," Karen added

"There’s a sense of ‘we’re all in this together’ and eager anticipation about what they can bring to each other, the kids and their families."

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