1 Prior Treatment
Avoidable hospital readmissions are a pressing problem for our healthcare system. They lead to substantial human suffering and higher financial costs. Most discharged psychiatric inpatients in Alberta are offered follow-up appointments with Alberta Health Services (AHS) Addiction and Mental Health (AMH) community providers. Patients often wait 28-38 weeks for their first appointment, which leads many to miss their first appointments, and increases the likelihood of relapse. As a result, patients discharged into the community are readmitted to the Emergency Department (ED). To address this significant revolving door, the investigators will implement a low-cost, evidence-based system that delivers daily supportive texts to patients' mobile phones. The text messages developed by experts and service users, based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles. Our proposed program also includes peer support from previous mental health patients who have had similar challenges as participants, but are now in recovery. In this way, the investigators aim to reduce the psychological treatment and support gap for AMH patients who have been discharged from acute care and are scheduled to receive mental health and psychiatric treatment from A&MH services after a long wait. Our pilot test of these interventions provide evidence that psychiatric readmissions, and emergency department visits can be reduced by 10-25% if implemented at scale in Alberta, thus resulting in cost-savings for individuals and the province.