August 11, 2022

With Your Support, We’re on our Way to Building a New Home for Emergency Mental Health Care at St. Joe’s!

Over the past five years, our Foundation and community have worked together to raise funds to expand and renew St. Joe’s Psychiatric Emergency Service. This is the Emergency Mental Health Service that cares for people over the age of 17 who are in crisis, experiencing a mental health emergency, or an overdose.

We want to thank you for your generous support of this project and let you know our Hospital is moving ahead with building a new home for emergency mental health and addictions care thanks to your contributions and a recent announcement of government funding for the project, too.

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Supporting our Patients from Crisis to Recovery

Two Distinct Care Areas to Meet Varying Needs
In our current space, there’s little privacy and room to streamline the different levels of care patients may need. In the new space, A Mental Health Emergency Department will serve patients experiencing severe mental health and addictions crises who may need to be admitted to the Hospital, while a separate Mental Health Assessment Centre will treat those who are facing a mental health crisis but are less likely to be admitted to Hospital for the care they need.

A Bright, Modern Environment to Enhance Treatment
The new space has been designed to enhance the comfort and well-being of patients, and encourage their recovery, too. More windows will let in natural light, natural finishes and colour schemes will provide a calming atmosphere, and dedicated spaces will welcome families and loved ones to be involved in care plans.

Greater Access to Mental Health & Addictions Care
St. Joe’s Emergency Mental Health Service has seen close to a 10 per cent increase in demand for care annually, although this year there’s been a substantially bigger surge due to COVID-19’s impact on mental health and substance use. As we emerge on the other side of the pandemic, this new, larger space will help address the anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance use concerns the pandemic has heightened.

In the words of Samantha Mercanti, local author and mental health advocate:
“The space in which St. Joe’s provides care for people matters. We need to give those in our community who are struggling with mental illness a respectful and safe place to receive care.”

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What’s Next: From a Shovel-Ready Site to a Stigma-Free Space for Care

Plans are already in place for this reconstruction project that will double the footprint of St. Joe’s existing Emergency Mental Health Service to help meet the growing demand for care. The space has been designed with each patient’s recovery in mind. From a youth in distress to an older adult with dementia, the new site will enable our Hospital to continue its mission to deliver compassionate care to all those we are privileged to serve. Construction is slated to begin in 2023.

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