Rapid Assessment Intervention and Treatment Program (RAIT)

Helping Those With Mental Health Needs

The Rapid Assessment Intervention Treatment (RAIT) team is a new model for patient care that increases capacity for mental health assessments and treatment. The program offers a shared care model with Primary Health Care Practitioners. The goal is to assist primary care practitioners with managing their patients better by detecting and treating mental health conditions early.

The teams bring critical mental health and addiction expertise to the patient bedside - or wherever it is needed.  There is no intake process and referrals will be accepted based on the practitioners or patient’s need for involvement.

In 2014/15, the Erie St. Clair LHIN provided additional investments that expanded the existing scope of the RAIT program in the Chatham-Kent and Sarnia/Lambton regions so more people could receive the right treatment, by the right clinical provider. This includes people with moderate mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Thanks to the RAIT team providing early and coordinated intervention, patients may have better health outcomes and prevent mental health and addiction conditions from increasing in severity. As a result, there will be a reduction of emergency department visits and admits.

Goals of RAIT

  • The Community-Based MH Rapid Assessment, Intervention and Treatment Program (RAIT) will partner closely with Primary Health Care Practitioners (PHCP) and their respective teams.
  • Remove barriers to access: there will be no intake process, a request for services will be accepted based on the PHCP or their team members’ perceived need for RAIT involvement.
  • Offer a timely mental health intervention and coordinate outreach services (specialized assessments, treatment, case management or support services)
  • Collaborate and communicate with primary health care providers and their team to coordinate mental health needs at early onset, reducing the long term reliance on mental health services.

“Doctors are asking what kind of diagnosis does the patient need to receive services.  When they hear there is no exclusion criteria, they get excited.  It’s exactly what they need, if they assess a need for mental health support, we will become involved” says Paula Reaume-Zimmer, Integrated Director of Operations, Mental Health and Addictions Programs, Chatham-Kent, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance & Canadian Mental Health Association-Lambton-Kent.      

Additional Resources

2015 Update on RAIT, including program statistics. Click here