On January 8th, 2014 the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) officially opened
the doors to its new mental health care program. The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister
of Health and Long-Term Care, joined hospital staff, mental health care partners,
and community members in the celebration.
"We are so proud to welcome this valuable service to our hospital on behalf of our
community," says STEGH CEO Paul Collins. "The collaboration between agencies across
our community, St. Joseph's Health Care, the Southwest LHIN and the Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care has been truly extraordinary."
The new mental health care program, is located on the first floor, west wing. This
newly renovated 12,000 square foot space includes a 15-bed unit for inpatients requiring
hospitalization up to two weeks, and space for related outpatient programs and services.
The mental health care program will remain in this temporary location until the
permanent facility, part of STEGH's larger redevelopment project, is complete in
2017. At that time, the renovated space will be repurposed for use by another STEGH
program. Needs are being evaluated currently to determine most appropriate use.
STEGH's program involves both assessment and crisis intervention as needed for adults
18 and older and is comprised of the following program areas:
- Emergency Psychiatry
- Consultation Liaison service
- Collaborative Consultation to Local Providers
The new program replaces beds and services dedicated to local patients at the St.
Joseph's Regional Mental Health Care facility south of St. Thomas, which closed
in June 2013 and have been provided in a temporary location during this transition.
Karen Davies, STEGH Vice President is looking forward to welcoming the new staff
and patients to the Hospital. "We have been anticipating the opening of our new
program for many years and I am very excited to finally welcome our new staff and
patients into this beautiful new space."
Davies says that although the program will open in an interim space, it is very
well-designed for its purpose. "Having the program in the community hospital means
that patients receive a full continuum of care to address physical and mental health
needs under one roof."
The new model of care will deliver an Excellent Patient Care Experience through
coordination and continuity of care. The STEGH Mental Health Care Program is a patient
focused program that is founded on the recovery principles of care and works to
ensure safety of patients and staff.
"This beautiful new space will provide compassionate and appropriate care, closer
to home for patients in St. Thomas and Elgin County," said Deb Matthews, Minister
of Health and Long-Term Care. "Providing patients with the right care, in the right
place, at the right time is key priority of our government's Action Plan for Health
The inpatient unit is a 15-bed ward staffed by a multidisciplinary team of
Psychiatrists, a Psychologist, Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, an
Occupational Therapist, Social Workers, a Recreational Therapist and Support Staff,
all working together to ensure the best possible mental health care. The Unit is
recovery-oriented and will provide short-term acute care.
The outpatient service is a multidisciplinary unit staffed by Psychiatrists,
Psychologists, Social Workers and Registered Nurses, and Support Staff. Its aim
is to provide outpatient support to people suffering from Acute Mental Health problems.
Individual and group counseling is provided, as well as medication management.