Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) has achieved another major milestone in the development of its regional Child and Youth Mental Health program. Child psychiatrist Dr. Pappu Srinivasa Reddy will join the RVH team in early- September, just before the program launches.
Dr. Reddy comes to RVH with significant clinical experience, having worked as a child psychiatrist at the integrated Kingston General and Hotel Dieu hospitals since 2014. Prior to that, he practised psychiatry in Wales and India. Dr. Reddy is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Queen’s University, where he oversees child psychiatry physician trainees.
Dr. Reddy’s résumé features a long list of impressive professional and academic achievements. He completed his specialty psychiatric training in India and the United Kingdom and is a published researcher and respected speaker.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to work at RVH and am keen to be involved in the planning for the new regional Child and Youth Mental Health program. I know I’ll be joining an excellent team that will work together to meet the needs of children and families in North Simcoe Muskoka,” says Dr. Reddy.
North Simcoe Muskoka is currently the only region in Ontario that does not have a hospital-based child and youth mental health program. Construction is now well underway on RVH’s eight-bed inpatient unit which is scheduled to open in late- 2017 and will care for up to 300 troubled young people each year. A comprehensive day program will provide an additional 3,000 outpatient visits annually.
“Youth suffering acute mental health issues, such as suicidal behaviour, psychosis and severe depression need quick access to secure, specialized inpatient services for stabilization and treatment,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “This regional program will change the future for kids in crisis right across North Simcoe Muskoka. By providing care closer to home, RVH and our regional partners will significantly ease the burden for young people and their families.”
According to RVH’s Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Eric Mulder, “One in five youth experiences a mental health challenge and 70 per cent of mental illness arises in childhood or adolescence. Last year 1,700 young people visited a North Simcoe Muskoka Emergency Department with mental health concerns. The lack of local hospital services has meant many of those troubled young people were sent outside the region – as far away as Ottawa – for their inpatient mental health care. This program at RVH will make such a difference.”
The RVH Foundation has committed $5 million through its Hearts and Minds fundraising campaign for the construction, equipment and furnishing of the Child and Youth Mental Health unit.
Dr. Reddy was recruited through the Barrie Area Physician Recruitment (BAPR) Task Force, supported by RVH, the City of Barrie, Town of Innisfil, Township of Oro-Medonte and Township of Springwater. Efforts continue to recruit a second child psychiatrist to ensure RVH can meet the needs of the region’s young people once the program is fully operational.