Ontario Shores Provides Education in Forensic Mental Health Care

October 04, 2011
Dr. Karen DeFreitas
Dr. Karen DeFreitas, Medical Director, Forensic Program, was one of the speakers at the continuing education session geared towards teaching skills to understand the criminal justice system and its interaction with the mental health care system and provided risk management strategies to help manage patients more effectively.
On September 24, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) hosted an education day to share expertise of the Forensic Program in managing complex patients.

The event was well attended by close to 100 healthcare professionals, legal professionals and police officers, who participated in a number of presentations throughout the day. Attendees learned about the interaction between the criminal justice system and the mental health care system, as well as strategies to effectively manage complex mental health patients involved with the justice system.

“We were happy to share our expertise regarding the management of complex forensic patients with our health care colleagues”, said Dr. Karen DeFreitas, Medical Director of the Forensic Program at Ontario Shores. “It was a very interactive discussion, and we learned from their experiences as well.”

The education session also provided information and guidance to community healthcare professionals about how an individual with mental illness proceeds from the community to a general hospital and then to a tertiary care facility.

The Forensic Program at Ontario Shores provides assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and community reintegration services to patients with mental illness who have come in contact with the law. With individual recovery plans, patients can progress to a less restrictive environment and return to the community.

Ontario Shores is a teaching hospital and works collaboratively with other organizations to further education and research in the area of Forensics as well as many other disciplines. Recently, staff participated in a Thought Leadership Forum, which brings leaders together to create system-wide change in practice to minimize the use of seclusion and restraint. This year’s event focused on minimizing seclusion and restraint in adolescents, seniors and emergency departments.

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