Adults, youth and children suffering with mental illness are amongst our most vulnerable patients. For those in crisis, there are concerns around safety such as self-harm or suicide. And for youth that come to St. Joe’s, it is often their first time seeking help. That first impression starts in our Mental Health Emergency Services Unit so it’s important to get this first impression right.
Our current space doesn’t separate children and youth from adults, privacy is lacking and the unit doesn’t feel like a healing environment.
St. Joe’s updating our Mental Health Emergency Services Unit so that patients in crisis and their families have access to private, healing spaces that support timely assessment and treatment.
Building a new Mental Health Emergency Services Unit
Together, with your support, we’ll build a space with specialized areas for children and adults
The team in our Mental Health Emergency Services Unit (MHESU) cares for patients every day; some who are acutely ill and waiting for a treatment plan to admit them into our inpatient unit. St. Joe’s need support from you and our community to provide safety and comfort for patients of all ages. This means dividing the MHESU into two areas – one for children and youth, and one to provide private, specialized care for adults
Together, we will create 70% more private spaces for mental health care
The unit will have eight private, lockable rooms. Right now, we have only three private rooms. Most patients are on stretchers in open view, separated only by curtains. Additional private rooms will provide seclusion when necessary, opportunities for more open conversation with our care providers, and space that maintains our patients’ dignity.
Together, we will ensure a safe, healing environment
The new Mental Health Emergency Services Unit will help people feel reassured and safe and lessen their anxiety. Technology, highly-specialized equipment or surgery cannot help people with mental illness. Their journey and recovery begins with having the best doctors, nurses and staff in a space that is private, safe and calming. The new space will be warm and welcoming and have better security features. A staff station will also be near all patient rooms and common areas so the teams have full visibility to continually assess, monitor, and intervene when needed.
visits to St. Joseph's outpatient mental health services annually
visits through Emergency from people in crisis due to a mental health and addiction condition last year
of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime
Brad says St. Joseph’s Health Centre gave him a new lease on life.
Brad spent three weeks visiting St. Joe’s Mental Health Outpatient Unit following his initial visit to the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit.
“Out of all the places I have sought mental health and addiction care, St. Joe’s is the one place that treats you like a human being. When people finally get the courage and pride to come and ask for help, it is a big step. From the very first day I came to St. Joe’s, a very broken man with my sister by my side, the doctors treated me like an individual, like I was a friend. People who suffer from mental health issues need that friendly face to start, and the rest follows.”
The need to revitalize and expand the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit is a cause Brad can attest to first-hand.
“Making the physical surroundings of the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit more warm, welcoming and secure is critical to recovery. It may be just one piece of the puzzle, but it is an important one.”
Now, three years clean and sober, Brad looks back at the weeks he spent at St. Joe’s and is thankful. “St. Joe’s is just really special, and more people need to know about it.”
Photo from current Mental Health Emergency Services Unit
You Can Help
Together, we can create better access and improve care for people with mental illness in west Toronto; we can help keep the promise made by the Sisters of St. Joseph almost 100 years ago to meet the health needs of our west-end community.
Please donate today to help St. Joseph’s care for its most vulnerable neighbours.