For Professionals

Mental Health & Substance Use

Many individuals with brain injury struggle with mental health issues such as depression and/or substance use. Unfortunately, people with these complex needs often face barriers in getting the services they need.

The Toronto ABI Network helps support these individuals and their health care providers by working to improve access to essential rehabilitative care.

Supporting transitions from acute care to inpatient rehab

In principle and in accordance with best practices, all specialized ABI rehab programs should have the capacity to manage patients with ABI who also have mental health/addiction issues. However, given the unique needs of each patient, there may be nuances where admission may need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Network has developed a guide to support acute care and rehabilitation hospitals referring patients with these needs to inpatient ABI rehab. It includes valuable information and outlines considerations related to ABI patients who also have mental health and/or substance use challenges.

Download the guide here.

Supporting individuals involved with the justice system

Recognizing that some individuals living with brain injuries become involved with the justice system, the Toronto ABI Network participates in Community Reintegration Planning Table meetings with the Toronto South Detention Centre.  Through this venue, community partners collaborate to support reintegration planning and coordinate services to assist incarcerated males in successfully returning to the community.

The Network is also active in the Toronto Regional Human Service and Justice Coordinating Committee (T-HSJCC), which brings the ABI, addiction, mental health and criminal justice sectors together to create personalized solutions for individuals with these complex needs.

Additional Resources:

  • Substance Use and Brain Injury (SUBI) Project – provides information on issue of substance use and brain injury.
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – provides information and a listing of community-based support and discussion groups. Resources listed may or may not be appropriate for someone with an acquired brain injury.
  • ConnexOntario – provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness or gambling. Information may or may not be appropriate for someone with an acquired brain injury.