The Toronto ABI Network was pleased to welcome Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences as a new member in 2014.
Ontario Shores is a public hospital that provides a range of specialized assessment and treatment services to those living with complex and serious mental illness. Andrea Spencer, a community nurse clinician in Outpatient Services, says that Ontario Shores’ Neuropsychiatry Services treats medically stable individuals, 18 to 65 years of age, who have an ABI or neurodegenerative disease and a serious mental health concern. Patients served come from across the province.
Patients are treated by an inter-professional team consisting of neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology, occupational therapy, rehab/behavioural therapy, psychiatric nursing, therapeutic recreation and social work.
“On the inpatient side, the team primarily targets psychiatric symptoms and associated behavioural problems within a secure 25-bed inpatient setting using a recovery-oriented approach to care,” says Andrea. “Services include an inter-professional assessment, a diagnostic clarification/medication review, behavioural intervention, life skills training, individual and group therapy, therapeutic recreation, vocational planning, family support, education and consultation, inclusion of community partners in planning and treatment, discharge planning and community re-integration support.”
On the outpatient side, Andrea says she and neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Omar Ghaffar, conduct patient assessments in the hospital in Outpatient Services or via the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). Up to 40 percent of clients are assessed via OTN.
“The benefit of OTN is that we can provide services for people who aren’t able to attend at our physical location in the hospital,” says Andrea. “Our recovery model is really client-driven. We work with individuals on goal setting and try to support them with transitioning whether that means maintaining their needs in the community or supporting them in the transition from inpatient to outpatient care.”
Andrea says Ontario Shores looks forward to contributing as a member of the Toronto ABI Network, helping to bring mental health issues to the forefront and collaborating with other members on identifying the current struggles within the ABI population and seeking solutions at a LHIN and provincial level on issues such as housing and re-integration into the community.
For more information on Ontario Shores, visit www.ontarioshores.ca.