A New Home for Emergency Mental Health Care

A father with alcohol dependence is having suicidal thoughts.

A college student in the midst of exam week can’t breathe due to a panic attack.

A youth at risk is found by police experiencing an overdose.

A senior is found wandering outside in the cold, unsure of their name or where they live.

These are just a few of the patients St. Joe’s cares for nearly every day in our Emergency Mental Health Service. But right now, all of these patients are treated in one small, outdated space that was built more than two decades ago. With your help, we can build a new home for Emergency Mental Health Care at St. Joe’s. One that has the space and the environment needed to help those in crisis – no matter what brings them to our doors.

That’s why we’re raising funds to help reconstruct this department to feature two distinct care streams and areas: one for those who require urgent medical care and mental health support, but are not likely to be admitted to the Hospital; and another specifically designed to help people who are experiencing more severe mental health or addiction related concerns and may need to be admitted to the Hospital for specialized care.

But it isn’t just a better space we’re building, it’s a bigger one, too because demand for urgent mental health care has increased by 60 percent over the past 10 years alone. (Yes, 60 percent – that’s more than any other program at our Hospital.) And sadly, a 40 percent increase in demand for care is happening right now due to the long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated anxiety, depression, isolation and substance use that has resulted from it. Help us to create a safer, larger, and more patient-centered space in which we can care for those in crisis.