The current landscape of mental health care in Ontario is changing: patient expectations and standards are shifting, demand for mental health care is continuing to grow, and outcomes are worse for individuals with both mental health needs and physical illnesses. Healthcare systems have evolved to focus on addressing either physical or mental illness, but not both at the same time. The world of mental health is a complex landscape to navigate. It doesn’t have to be this way.
With an overarching vision to integrate both complex medical and mental health needs of patients, UHN’s Centre for Mental Health plays a unique role as one of the largest and most academically productive mental health centres in Canada. The Centre’s core areas of expertise and programs include: depression, mood disorders, medical psychiatry, eating disorders, trauma/PTSD, general psychiatry, seniors’ mental health and addictions. Dedicated to treating the whole person, the Centre for Mental Health aims to provide comprehensive care across many disciplines of physical and mental health needs. With a global reputation for innovation and excellence, internationally known leaders, educators, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and residents work every day to improve the lives of patients.
Many parts of the healthcare system need to work together in order to make a real difference in patients’ lives – from removing barriers to accessing care, to helping navigate the system, to following up and ensuring the right kind of care is delivered, and so much more.
We need donor support to continue to address various mental health care needs across our hospitals, and prioritize the integration of both physical and mental health. You can make a difference – not only in the lives of patients and their families, but in the lives of the many Canadians who look to UHN for answers.
The Centre for Mental Health must integrate physical and mental health in order to champion new philosophies of care for patients in our hospitals. With the support of donors and our community, UHN is committed to advancing this through the delivery of care, innovative education for patients and staff and evidence-based research.
Working with patients and caregivers, UHN will co-design and deliver seamless, evidence-based models of safe, quality care, bringing physical and mental health closer together. UHN treats a wide range of patients with varying mental health needs, and our hospitals aim to build tailored solutions through advanced technologies, integrated referral systems and defined care pathways that will enhance the patient journey towards care.
Healthcare providers must have the support they need to deliver exemplary integrated care to patients every day. Already, UHN is leading the way by making employee wellness initiatives a priority. By developing an inclusive work environment, and collaborating with community partners to grow our funding for mental health across our hospitals, UHN aims to foster a culture of empowerment, health and academic excellence.
Advanced forms of education and learning will play a critical role in ensuring our healthcare providers and caregivers receive the best training, and are adapting to new practices and integrations to mental health care. The Centre for Mental Health will be developing innovative education focused on building physical and mental health competencies for all.