Mental Health Services at CGMH

A Few members of the Mental Health Team (Jacqui Jesso, Crystal Bell & Brittany O Leary)

While the stigma around Mental Health may be starting to lessen, the need for services has grown exponentially, with 1 in 5 Canadians living with a mental health diagnosis in any given year. It is important to know CGMH’s available Mental Health Services, some of which have been funded in part by donations.

Outpatient Mental Health Services (formerly known as Community Mental Health Services) has been in operation since 1987 and their philosophy is rooted in the Recovery Model of Care. Their goal is to alleviate psychological distress and support individuals to live meaningful lives, and develop the skills and supports needed to choose, obtain and keep valued roles in the community.

The multidisciplinary team is made up of Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists, Mental Health Therapists and Clerical Support. Their patient centred, shared care model offers assessment and on-going follow up with individualized treatment and/or group programs. Some of the additional services they provide are:

  • The Crisis Team in the CGMH Emergency Department operates 7 days a week (8am – 8 pm) which is responsive to patients that visit the department in a mental health crisis. They perform a risk assessment and determine whether or not patients need to be transferred to another facility. If the patient does not require a transfer, they are then provided with resources and referrals within the South Georgian Bay community, which may include going to the outpatient Mental Health Clinic and meet with a registered mental health psychotherapist.
  • The Mental Health Clinic provides individual therapy and group counselling in a day program format. The clinic operates Monday-Friday with four psychiatrists who provide care for moderate to severe mental illnesses. The clinic specializes in psychogeriatric, perinatal, adult and youth mental health. The clinic and family physicians work closely together to provide the very best plan of care to support recovery within the community.
  • The Mental Health Response Unit (MHRU) is a partnership with the OPP that was funded in part by donations. A Crisis Worker and an OPP Officer are partnered together Monday to Thursday between 8am – 6 pm and respond to 911 calls for mental health crisis in the community. The officer and the crisis worker attend the home together and a mental health risk assessment is done to determine if the individual needs to be brought to the hospital or can be supported on an outreach basis with the Crisis Worker linking them with the appropriate resources.

Crystal Bell, Manager of Mental Health Services, says “We are very fortunate to have a skilled multidisciplinary team made up of Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists, Mental Health Therapists and Clerical Support. We provide care to patients 16 and up living with moderate to severe mental illness and specialize in perinatal, geriatric, adult and youth mental health. The mental health team has recently hired an intake worker that helps to screen patients and move them through the system efficiently so patients are not waiting for services. New referrals are scheduled weekly with our intake counsellor and therapists are accepting new patients weekly. This system allows for an increase in access to treatment for patients and reducing hospitalization”