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The Geropsychiatric Education Program (GPEP) is a program within Vancouver Coastal Health that is focused on supporting the clinical practice of gerontology. GPEP is part of Vancouver Community Mental Health Services and works closely with the Vancouver Residential Practice Team. This program strives to provide evidence-based geropsychiatric education, consultation, and support to healthcare providers within VCH and is founded on three core principles:
There is currently one educator with a background in both adult education and gerontology and a support staff.
The Geropsychiatric Education Program (GPEP) began in 1995 in response to the downsizing of Riverview Hospital, the province's largest psychiatric institution. Many of the elderly patients were relocated back into the community and residential care facilities. As a result of a growing number of clients/residents with complex psychogeriatric needs and issues, residential care leaders in Vancouver and Richmond advised the [then] Vancouver and Richmond Health Departments of the need for a geropsychiatric education program. GPEP began with a small interdisciplinary team of educators and a geriatric psychiatrist to provide educational support to community and residential health care staff. At this time, the GPEP model and the accompanying Behaviour Assessment Tool (BAT) was developed to assist staff with understanding client/resident behaviours and support their use of person-centred care strategies that would address the behavioural concerns.