Shannon’s sister Laura was rushed to St. Joe’s Emergency Department last summer after taking 80 pills. This wasn’t the first time that Laura had come in to sit by her sister’s side. She was desperate to learn how she could help her sister get through this. That’s when Shannon was referred to the Family Navigation Program. While it initially started as an opportunity to learn more about how she could support her sister, over time it became a way for Shannon to understand that she also needed help.
Our west-end community has the highest concentration of mental illness in Toronto. St. Joe’s is here for both the thousands of patients who need emergency mental health services and their families.
“I hadn’t realized how much of an impact the 20 years of supporting my sister had on me,” Shannon said. “Joining the Family Navigation support group gave me a chance to talk with other people who were in similar situations – which finally opened the door to allow me to see the pain that I felt because of my experience.”
The program also helped give Shannon hope – for the first time – that her sister could fully recover.
“The time when patients are receiving treatment can often be difficult for their families,” said Dr. Jose Silveira, Chief of Psychiatry. “Family members provide an incredible amount of support and it’s important that they have resources available when their loved ones are in hospital.”
St. Joseph’s Health Centre is committed to providing the very best care for people in our community who have mental health or addiction issues. To deliver on this promise, we’re completely transforming the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit. The new unit will give patients in crises and their families access to private, healing spaces to support timely assessment and treatment. You can help support this exciting new revitalization and other vital needs by donating today.