New system to treat mental health, substance abuse launched by Lakeridge Health Oshawa


Published October 4, 2022 at 1:45 pm

Lakeridge Health has launched a three-year plan to deliver a more integrated system of mental health and substance abuse care in Durham Region.

Together, Best Mental Health was developed through input from Lakeridge Health’s Client and Family Advisory Council and Community Advisory Panel for Mental Health and Addictions, a survey of people with lived and living experience, as well as consultation with system partners, subject matter experts, and other stakeholder groups. In addition, a review of literature, health data, and best practices around mental health and substance use services was conducted.

It was launched this week to help mark Mental Health Week in Canada.

“As one of Ontario’s largest hospital systems, Lakeridge Health is known for providing evidence-based mental health and substance use care delivered with compassion,” explained Cynthia Davis, Lakeridge Health’s President and CEO. “Together, Best Mental Health will allow us to transform how we plan and deliver our services, providing clients with the right services, from the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”

Each year, Lakeridge Health has more than 100,000 mental health visits for adults, more than 12,000 visits a year for children and youth, and more than 14,000 visits to Emergency Departments related to mental health and substance use, said Dr. Kevin Chopra, the Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Program. “And these needs are only growing.”

Chopra believed the new initiative will help the organization “evolve” to provide care that is “accessible by all, tailored to individual needs, easy to navigate, person-focused, evidence-based, equitable, and compassionate.”

Beth Brannon, Senior Director, Mental Health and Addictions, Lakeridge Health described the program has a “collaborative strategy” that reflects partnerships with other agencies and groups, as well as clients, patients, and families in their “journeys of care.”

She added that the plan also offers an opportunity to advance the organization’s integrations with Durham Mental Health Services and Distress Centre Durham, which happened in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

“These collaborations are facilitating smoother transitions and faster connections to appropriate services and helping to create a supportive continuum of care for clients,” Brannon noted. “Through Together, Best Mental Health, we can formalize these relationships and ensure there is clarity for our clients and their families when it comes to the delivery of care from Lakeridge Health.”

Chopra invited the community to take a peek at the “future of mental health care and substance abuse care” with the Together, Best Mental Health program.

“Working alongside our partners, we look forward to delivering on this plan and providing the care and support that creates better outcomes for all.”


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