Ontario Shores and Lakeridge Health – Child Youth and Family Program Partner to Help Youth

October 26, 2010
Hannah and her parentsTwo years ago Hannah was constantly sad. She lost interest in activities she once enjoyed, became withdrawn and increasingly focused on bad thoughts. Hannah was 12 years old. The symptoms, once manageable, became worse and by the time she was 14, Hannah felt like she was losing control.

Her friends and family could have disregarded her mood as typical teenage behaviour, but luckily they recognized that Hannah needed help. After visits with a counsellor and family doctor, Hannah was referred to the Mood and Anxiety Program (MAP) for Adolescents and Young Adults provided in partnership with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) and Lakeridge Health – Child Youth and Family Program (CYFP).

After completing 12 weeks in MAP Hannah and her parents are thrilled the old Hannah is back.

“Hannah was always a strong and independent person who would stand up for anyone or any cause,” says Michael, Hannah’s father. “But now she is able to stand up and advocate for herself.”

MAP provides adolescents and young adults who are experiencing significant mood and anxiety symptoms with timely access to care. The interprofessional team, which includes child and adolescent psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors and psychologists, work with youth to create specialized recovery plans based on the individual’s needs.

“The treatment was great,” says Hannah. “I felt very involved and learned how to make changes within myself to get better. I also learned relaxation and meditation techniques as well as how to look at situations from many perspectives, not just the worst case scenario.”

The partnership between Ontario Shores and Lakeridge Health – CYFP offers patients shared resources, reduced wait times and flexible follow-up services. The initial intake and assessments can occur at Ontario Shores or Lakeridge.

“Lakeridge Health is proud to partner with Ontario Shores on this important initiative,” said Donna Brownlee, Director of Maternal Child Services at Lakeridge Health. “As a parent, there is nothing worse than having to wait to obtain the care your child requires. Through MAP, we can ensure young people and their families receive the right care, at the right time in a location that best suits their needs.”

Psychiatry and social work assessments occur at Ontario Shores, but follow-up services are provided by both facilities so patients can receive continued care at either location and with familiar staff members. Hannah is happy she will continue counselling with one of the social workers who was instrumental in her success throughout MAP.

“Ontario Shores is proud to be part of this progressive program,” says Sheila Neuburger, Vice-President Clinical Services at Ontario Shores. “MAP not only provides youth with the opportunity to receive timely and efficient access to specialized care, but offers counselling and support groups for parents so the whole family can be engaged in the recovery process.”

Hannah’s parents say the parent groups played an important role in their daughter’s recovery. The groups offered insight into Hannah’s situation and reassured them that they were not alone. Her parents were informed of the tools and techniques Hannah was given so they could undertake the process as a family as well as recognize and appreciate Hannah’s independent progress.

“I feel good and noticed a positive change right away,” says Hannah. “This program is a great opportunity for anyone who needs help, to get help. For a long time I was focused on the depression, now I’m focused on life.”

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 4001