Accessing Care - FAQs

I know someone who refuses to seek help and is in need. What can I do?

It is important to try and work with your loved one to ensure they receive proper care. The best way to support someone can vary from situation to situation, and there are many resources to assist you in this process including hospital-based crisis services, mobile crisis services and emergency services. If you are uncertain about how to proceed, we recommend that you contact Ontario Shores Central Intake or your local crisis centre for further guidance and support. If you or your loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911.

The following pages list resources that may help:

I, or someone I care for, is receiving care at another organization. Can I request a transfer to Ontario Shores?

Yes. If a patient would like to transfer to Ontario Shores, he or she can work with their current treatment team to submit the referral. The referral must come from the treatment team. You may download the referral form to share or discuss with the attending physician. Please contact Ontario Shores Central Intake to provide additional information you think might be beneficial. Once a referral is received it may take several days to process as Ontario Shores must ensure all relevant information is received to ensure the individual's treatment needs are met.

I, or someone I care for, was turned away from a hospital emergency room without a psychiatric assessment. What can I do?

If you remain concerned about your loved one, please make an appointment with your family doctor or return to the emergency room. It is important that emergency room staff are clear about your concerns. If you, or your loved one, do not require emergency attention please contact Ontario Shores Central Intake for suggestions or recommendations for possible next steps. You can also ask your doctor, specialist or nurse practitioner for a referral to our Prompt Care Clinic.

I, or someone I care for, is in an area with reduced services. What can I do?

The Ontario Shores Central Intake team, works with individuals to navigate the mental health care system. Where possible Telemedicine may be an option to accessing specialized care, without having to leave your community.

I am having trouble filling out the referral form. Can I get help?

Please contact the Central Intake team and a nurse will be pleased to work with you to complete the referral form over the phone.

I, or someone I care for, was offered service from Ontario Shores, but refused it. What happens now?

If an individual is able to make his or her own treatment decisions, we must respect the decision. Often, some additional information can help someone feel more comfortable in accessing specialized mental health care. Tours of Ontario Shores can be arranged by contacting 905.430.4055 ext. 6561 or online at www.ontarioshores.ca/community/take_a_tour. If you, or your loved one, have questions in making this decision, please contact Central Intake for additional information.

I, or someone I care for, needs mental health care, and is under 16 years old. Where can I go for help?

Adolescent services are available at Ontario Shores, many local hospitals and community agencies. Please contact Ontario Shores Central Intake or Durham Central Intake (888.454.6275) for further assistance with navigating adolescent mental health care resources.

I made a referral to Ontario Shores. What can I expect next?

You, your physician or case manager may receive a call requesting additional information or to clarify your needs. Once all the information is received, the referral package is reviewed with a physician. In some circumstances you may be contacted for an interview or offered an opportunity to tour the area you have been referred to. Once a decision regarding service provision has been made, this will be communicated generally within three to five days. Ontario Shores will provide you with recommendations for appropriate mental health resources if we are unable to meet your immediate needs. If you require assistance with this follow-up, please contact Ontario Shores Central Intake.


I don’t have a family doctor. Where can I find one?

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario lists all doctors in the province. You can locate a family physician or specialist in your community through their website.

How do I get a referral if I don’t have a family doctor?

If you are considering referring to Ontario Shores, we encourage you to contact Central Intake to discuss your needs. We can help you understand which program will be best suited to meet your needs.