Taking back control of her mental health

Courtney finally found what she needed

A constant feeling of being overlooked accompanied Courtney’s every attempt to open up. “I have struggled my whole life with my mental health and have always found it hard to find the right care for me,” says Courtney. “Several attempts with different counsellors and medications became taxing on my well-being.”  

When she hit 30, Courtney longed for a more sustainable solution for the ups and downs linked to her depression, anxiety, and eating disorder. Newly married and a mother to a six-year-old with autism spectrum disorder, she hoped for new, immediate answers.  

"Going to the Prompt Care Clinic was the first time I felt I would be okay."

Turning to the Prompt Care Clinic for help

Courtney’s doctor referred her to the Prompt Care Clinic, a community-based mental health clinic available through The Royal. Within weeks, Courtney underwent an assessment and began receiving psychotherapy.
When the challenges of COVID-19 strained health care resources, compassionate donors stepped forward to establish the Prompt Care Clinic, initially virtual, and now integrated into a discreet, easily accessible physical location in central Ottawa. The Clinic offers people like Courtney something that is hard to find elsewhere—quick and easy access to specialized mental health care at no cost to the patient.

“The Prompt Care Clinic fills a gap in mental health care in Ottawa by actively improving mental health outcomes for a wide variety of the population,” says Dr. Susan Okigbo, Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of The Royal’s Community Mental Health Program. “Opening and maintaining a clinic entirely funded by philanthropy demonstrates deep care and compassion for the well-being of our community. It is wonderful to be able to achieve rapid access to specialized mental health care at this innovative, hybrid clinic.”

“It’s hard to know where to go when you are struggling.”

Of the one-in-four people living with mental illness or substance use disorders, only one-third seek help. Stigma plays a major role, but too often, people just simply don’t know where to turn. “It’s hard to know where to go when you are struggling,” says Courtney. “The Clinic made the path a lot easier to navigate.”

Through conversation and various therapeutic techniques, her clinical team explored her thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, aiming to alleviate her mental health symptoms. Homework exercises provided Courtney with the opportunity to practice at home and to report back on what was effective, ensuring she got the most out of her visits.
Between sessions with her psychotherapist, Courtney found comfort in supportive emails from the clinical team, who provided additional resources and services to complement her therapy. After five sessions, Courtney returned to her family doctor, who received tailored information and tools to continue her care.

Did you know? 2,500 patients have been seen at The Prompt Care Clinic in just two years. 65% of appointments were first-ever visits with a mental health care provider.

Taking back control of her life

Courtney had no idea what to expect, but she got so much more than she could have imagined. She remembers feeling in control over her mental health, a feeling that she had wanted for so long.

“Going to the Prompt Care Clinic was the first time I felt I would be okay. The entire experience felt personalized. I felt listened to, and I walked away with tools and coping mechanisms that are still helping me today.”

For more information, visit theroyal.ca/Prompt