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STEGH Opens New Mental Health Care Program
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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:

  • Inpatients
  • 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 Care."

Background Information

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.

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