St. Joe’s is known for its expertise and compassion in caring for people with mental illness. Our west-end community has the highest concentration of people with mental illness and our Emergency department receives the highest volume of mental health and addictions patients in central Toronto.
The current Mental Health Emergency Services Unit (MHESU) lacks privacy and the comfort needed to help a person in distress. In fact, our busy unit can worsen panic, stress and fear. Past patients give glowing reviews of our care, but for many, the space itself is unnerving. We’re concerned that people needing help will avoid coming to St. Joe’s because the environment is so offputting.
visits from those needing help for mental health or addiction
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
What your gift can do
Our vision is to redevelop our Mental Health Emergency Services Unit to provide timely, quality care in an environment that helps the healing process.
Your donations will help build, furnish and equip 3,900 square feet of space that is welcoming, safe and calming for our neighbours in crisis. Features include separate areas for adults and youth, private and secure patient rooms, accessible washrooms and showers, new direct access to a seclusion room, as well as an elevator with direct access to our other mental health services.
The new Mental Health Emergency Services Unit is scheduled to open early 2019 thanks to many generous donors including attendees of the St. Joe’s Plate annual fundraiser. Your support today can help provide furnishings and equipment that will help our most vulnerable patients.