Toronto ER project using donated cell phones to connect with vulnerable people sees success

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March 10, 2023

The Phone Connect project provides donated prepaid cellphones to those who are homeless, struggling with mental health or substance use or socially isolated, in hopes of getting people follow-up care instead of going to the ER. The project launched three years ago and data show the cellphones helped some individuals avoid ER visits and receive the care they need. Over 450 people received a phone through the project, which connected participants with addiction counsellors, family doctors and other specialists. Considering its success, the physician in charge of the project hopes the Ont. government takes on the project and adopts it more widely.

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