Do you have a family member who is in the hospital with a mental health problem? Do you know someone who should be in the hospital? Navigating the mental health system in Ontario is challenging at the best of times. Resources are stretched thin and people slip through the cracks. How do you know if your family member is getting what they need?
- Hospitalization for a mental health problem happens, but typically stays are not long in duration except in serious cases. One way to be admitted is a physician assesses that a person is at imminent risk. What does that mean? Immediate harm to oneself or another person will mean that the person is “formed” and has to stay in the hospital against their will. For more information on this process, click to download A Practical Guide to Mental Health and the Law in Ontario.
- Individuals who need mental health services but are not deemed to be an immediate risk need to speak to their family doctor. A family doctor can refer to psychiatric care and psychiatric services. In the Hamilton/Halton area, the St. Joe’s West 5th campus considered a centre of excellence for mental health services in South Central Ontario. It offers both in-patient and out-patient services. If your family member is not hospitalized then outpatient services may be an option. Expect the wait time to be lengthy.
- Grass roots organizations and not for profit organizations provide services at a free or lower cost and can be more timely. In the city of Hamilton organizations like CMHA, Hamilton Mental Health Outreach, Hamilton Family Health Team, Catholic Family Services or a directory of mental health services can provide other options. Your community will have similar services and can be found with a google search.
- Crisis numbers are an important resource. COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team) in Hamilton provides support to individuals in crisis. The phone number for COAST is 905-972-8338. Check within your community for crisis numbers.
If you require assistance with a mental health problem please contact Annette Poechman or book an appointment online. While Annette’s services are not free, many extended health plans cover her services. Annette also works in conjunction with a number of Employee and Family Assistance Programs. Learn more about Annette Poechman. Reach out today and take the next step towards better mental health. Listening. Guiding. Caring.