Mental Health & Addictions Redevelopment Project

Mental Health and Addictions Emergency/Short Stay Unit


To address the growing emergency/urgent mental health and addiction needs, PEI will establish a Mental Health and Addictions Emergency Service and Short Stay Unit (MHA ED/SSU) with mental health and addiction specialists.


The new MHA ED/SSU will be co-located with the existing emergency department and operated and staffed by mental health and addiction (MHA) staff. The service will provide emergency assessment, treatment, short-stay stabilization, support transition to service in the community, and support admission to an acute care bed when needed. The MH&A ED/SSU unit will work closely with the MHA Mobile Crisis team and community health centers to improve MHA emergency service, reduce wait times, and ensure Islanders have access to services closer to home.

The new MHA ED/SSU unit will also serve as a provincial hub for telepsychiatry services.

The acute adult MH&A capacity at the Prince County Hospital (PCH) will be retained and enhanced as part of the new Island-wide service delivery model.


  • A renovation and addition to the QEH for MHA ED/SSU
  • 24/7 MHA emergency service
  • Short Stay Unit for stabilizing and assessing patients, to reduce MHA hospital admissions


The MHA ES/SSU will advance the quality of care, client safety, staff safety, and experience. This model will transform MHA emergency access and ensure that patients return to their communities with support and/or are admitted to acute for further stabilization in a timely way.

  • Increases mental health/addictions expertise at the point of triage in the QEH ED to reduce wait times for mental health/addictions assessment
  • A waiting room for triaged patients that is independent of the QEH ED that is less congested, reducing discomfort, frustration, and safety challenges
  • Accessible interview/consult rooms that facilitate timely assessment and treatment in a secure, safe setting
  • An integrated care team and services including psychiatric services, psychology services, nursing care, social work services, consultation, and programming that support clients into, through, and out of the ED
  • Short stay admissions (for up to 72 hours) for stabilization, reducing the pressure on admission to MHA acute care beds
  • Virtual emergency psychiatry tools and technology to support hospitals across the Island connect via videoconferencing
  • Improves access to care and reduces wait times
  • Increased client comfort with reduced stigma
  • A care station and work-space that accommodate staff, physicians, and learners enabling the team to work effectively and efficiently with clients and families and supporting training and education opportunities
Programs and Services