Admission and Discharge


Admission processes focus on recovery in areas such as therapeutic alliance, promoting hope, goal setting and building trust with patients, substitute decision-makers (SDM), families and other supports.

Admission Guiding Principles:
  • Patients are the expert on their recovery and they have learned about living with and working through their mental illness.
  • The interprofessional treatment team guides the admitting process by actively engaging patients as partners in care to maximize personal autonomy and self determination while maintaining a safe and supportive environment.
  • In order to provide effective recovery-oriented care, it is important that patients, families, other supports and the community understand and are involved in treatment. Patients, along with their supports, have the right and responsibility to be full partners in their recovery.
  • Recovery-oriented care highlights patient perception of their needs, goals, values, strengths, resources, outcomes, family and community supports.
  • Clinicians understand that recovery is an individualized process and patients may be at a different point in their recovery than other patients.
  • Treatment teams follow Ontario Shores’ Standards of Care, recognizing that discharge planning begins before and upon admission.


Recovery continues after patients leave Ontario Shores. It is a journey of healing that enables individuals to lead a meaningful life in the community and maintain their mental health.
Discharge Guiding Principles:
  • The community is viewed as the best environment for recovery.
  • With patient, or the substitute decision-maker's (SDM) consent, family members, natural supports and community organizations participate in the discharge planning process. Community services that meet individual needs and preferences are selected to ensure optimal well-being and support for patients within the community.
  • Patients, or SDMs, family members and natural supports develop a community living transition plan, relapse prevention strategies and crisis plan prior to the discharge date.
  • The discharge plan focuses on areas such as wellness, personal aspirations, social supports, housing, finances, education, vocation/employment, leisure activities, daily routines and community reintegration. Education for families and natural supports is essential to ensure they receive assistance to rebuild personal, social, environmental and spiritual or religious connections.
  • A physician’s order is required for discharge.
  • Social workers are responsible for coordinating the discharge plan.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I bring with me upon admission?

You should bring:
  • Seasonal clothing such as hats, mittens and boots
  • Housecoat
  • Loose comfortable clothing 
  • Weather appropriate footwear and slippers
  • Pajamas, socks and undergarments
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Personal identification information
  • Spending money
  • Comforting items such as a journal, book or photo
  • Headphones if you wish to listen to music (only walkman or iPod)
  • Contact information for your community supports
You should not bring:
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Large amounts of clothing or luggage
  • Dangerous items such as knives or over the counter medication that has not been prescribed
  • Large amounts of money
  • Cellphones
Personal items
Personal computers, cellphones, TVs, DVD players and stereos are discouraged but are allowed in some units.  Use of camera phones is not permitted on the grounds.

Contraband is prohibited. No sharps, glass, lighters, alcohol containing products, drugs, steel-toe boots, high-heeled shoes, ropes or items forbidden by law or Ontario Shores policies.

What happens to my belongings while I’m at Ontario Shores?

Rings, watches, jewelry and other valuables are best left at home or sent home with your family. If this is not possible, you can deposit these items in the Ontario Shores vault located in the Business Office. Ontario Shores is responsible for items deposited in the vault. There is limited storage in your bedroom, but please be aware that items kept in your room are your responsibility.

How is it decided that I am ready for discharge?

A physician’s order is required for your discharge and your social worker is responsible for coordinating your discharge plan. Your discharge plan focuses on areas such as wellness, personal aspirations, social support, housing, finances, education, employment, leisure activities, daily routines and community reintegration. Outpatient services may be offered if you have been discharged from inpatient status at Ontario Shores.

As an inpatient do I have access to a telephone or computer?

You have access to a shared telephone on your unit and payphones are located throughout the hospital. Long distance calling cards are available for purchase.

You are welcome to use computers provided in a designated patient area, but signed consent from a member of your treatment team is required before you can sign on.

As an inpatient how are my finances managed?

You may deposit and withdraw your money from the Ontario Shores Business Office. The Business Office is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is closed weekends and statutory holidays. There is an ATM available where you may also withdraw funds. If you are not able to leave your unit, you may give a member of your treatment team permission to withdraw funds for you.

Can I have a relationship while receiving treatment at Ontario Shores?

Ontario Shores supports the development of healthy peer relationships. However, please keep in mind your main focus is your recovery and romantic relationships could interfere with your treatment.

What food options are available?

Meals are provided on each unit three times a day plus snacks. Special diets suited to personal, health, cultural or religious preferences are available. You are also welcome to purchase meals or snacks from our two cafeterias.

Are private rooms available?

Private rooms are available on some of the units, but you may have to share a room while receiving treatment at Ontario Shores. We ask that roommates cooperate and respect each other.