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Mental Health Emergency Services Unit

Our west-end community has the city’s highest concentration of people living with mental illness and our Emergency department receives the highest volume of patients with mental illness or addictions in central Toronto.

64000 Visits from those needing help for mental health or addiction

6700 Emergency visits for mental health and/or addiction care

1900 Children and youth received care in our Child, Adolescent & Family Mental Health Unit

St. Joe’s is known for its expertise and compassion in caring for people with mental illness. St. Joseph’s Health Centre has among the highest number of programs for mental health with specialists to treat children, youth, adults and seniors. These include:

  • Addiction Services
  • Adult Inpatient Mental Health Unit
  • Adult Outpatient Mental Health Unity
  • Child Adolescent and Family Mental Health
  • Outpatient Withdrawal Management Services
  • Withdrawal Management Residential Services


Mental Health Emergency Services Unit.

Improving mental health care

Caring for these neighbours is more important than ever. Our donors have helped St. Joe’s build one of the GTA’s largest mental health programs.

Your support has opened a dedicated, safe unit for adults and youth in crisis adjacent to the Emergency Department, renovated our Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health Unit, our outpatient care area, and recently opened the new RBC Mental Health Short Stay and Transitional Age Youth Unit. The next phase in transforming St. Joe’s to provide the best possible mental health care for our community is here.

Donor support will help build a new patient space called a step-down unit. This innovative space is designed to help bridge a big gap between our Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) – where people come in a crisis – and our main inpatient mental health unit – where they continue to recover after that crisis is managed.

Those who are admitted to the PICU require around-the-clock staff support to help them through their crisis, in a small and intimate environment. When they’re ready, they move to a space that can offer them longer-term care. That next space is our 29-bed inpatient unit. And often, going from the PICU to this larger unit is challenging, when a more gradual change is needed.

This new step-down unit will fill this gap, offering a space that ensures a smoother transition and a better recovery. Watch for more details coming soon on this new initiative!

Mental Health Emergency Services Unit (MHESU)

In April 2019, with the help of our donors, we opened the new Mental Health Emergency Services Unit (MHESU). The MHESU is the first point of contact for people who are in crisis and in desperate need of care.

Services include:

  • Assessment
  • Crisis Intervention and stabilization
  • Brief counselling
  • Short-term critical stress management

This state-of-the-art facility was designed with input from patients to create a truly patient-centered experience. Environment plays a role in how people feel and has an effect on the healing process. The comforting, modern new space helps reduce anxiety, calm fears and provide the highest level of safety for both patients and staff.

We have separate areas for adults and children, each with their own lounge, private rooms, and accessible washroom facilities. All of the eight private patient rooms have natural light, comfortable furnishings and glass walls that can dim to help patients sleep or rest.

Patient and staff safety is also greatly improved. Thirty-two cameras throughout the unit optimize visibility and safety. Card swipe access to all areas ensures quick access for patient and staff assistance and reduces opportunities for unplanned exit.

We are so very thankful to all of our west-end neighbours who came together to build this vital new space.

Thank you to the generous donors who helped fund the Mental Health Emergency Services unit, including the following supporters who contributed $10,000 or more.

Richard T. Armstrong

The Harold E. Ballard Foundation

David & Patti Bragg

Drs. Robert and Sharon Cirone

Andrews Co.

Dr. Justin Delwo

Maria Dyck

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

Doug Kellar & Laurie Hay

The Koehle Family

James A. (Sandy) McIntyre in memory of Dr. J. Alexander McIntyre

Orlando Corporation

Dr. Jose Silveira and Family

The WB Family Foundation

Tom and Ruth Woods

Chris Zeppa

RBC Mental Health Short Stay and Transitional Age Youth Unit

First-of its kind mental health unit for youth in the GTA now open at St. Joseph’s Health Centre

Thanks to the generous support of donors who share our commitment to mental health care, this new unit is the first of its kind in a Toronto hospital setting, focusing on youth who are making the transition from adolescent care to adult care—a critical time for young people with mental illness. 

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