A new mental health and addictions day hospital has launched in Sydney, Cape Breton, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

The day hospital is being called a ‘step-down treatment’ from an inpatient stay and a ‘step-up from outpatient treatment’.

This facility is part of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and will remain open seven days a week.

It can provide care for up to 15 patients at a time, who are referred to the programme through inpatient psychiatric units and emergency departments.

The hospital will be staffed by a psychiatrist, nurses, social workers, an occupational therapist, a recreational therapist, and a pharmacist.

They will provide individual psychiatric treatment support and therapeutic group programmes.

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This unit is the second mental health and addictions day hospital in Nova Scotia.

The first one opened in Halifax last year in April and has served 137 patients.

Addictions and Mental Health Minister Brian Comer said: “This new day hospital helps people get better care, closer to home and to the support of loved ones and community, and they can sleep in their own bed at night, too.

“Not only does this help address some of the barriers to accessing psychiatric care, it also helps people maintain important social connections with family and friends and keep their daily routines, both of which support long-term health and wellness.”