What if there were a healing place for youth and children who need inpatient care for mental health treatment? And what if that place were a nationally-recognized facility right here at the IWK? The Garron Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health is such a place.
And it is 100 per cent donor-funded.
The Garron Centre is called upon by our pediatric partners across Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, as a model to shape and redesign other Canadian acute mental health and addiction units. Since its opening five years ago, the Garron Centre has treated hundreds of patients from across the Maritime region, including Andrew Leitch.
Eighteen-year-old Andrew, from Dartmouth, NS, lives with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When he was admitted to the Garron Centre, Andrew focussed on avoiding contamination to his hands. His need to keep his hands clean was so strong that Andrew would lay in bed for days with his arms crossed over his chest to avoid touching anything. He also wouldn’t eat or drink. Andrew’s hand-washing left his hands brittle, cracked and raw.
During his time at the Garron Centre, his health care team helped Andrew balance the proper medication with exposure therapy. Through this style of therapy, Andrew would touch various liquid substances and learned to manage his compulsions with the support of his psychologist.
Today, Andrew is a student at Nova Scotia Community College. He is managing his OCD and is able to enjoy spending time with his friends and playing basketball.
Learn more about Andrew's story at iwkfoundation.org/andrew.