Whitby Mental Health Centre

Whitby Mental Health Centre (WMHC) provides a range of specialized, tertiary care mental health programs to 325 inpatients, 30 day treatment patients and 850 outpatients. In addition, WMHC supports 225 residents in privately operated Homes for Special Care and Approved Homes. WMHC's specialized regional psychiatric services are available to a catchment area consisting of 2.5 million residents living in the northeast and east of the City of Toronto (formerly East York, Scarborough and North York east of Yonge Street), York and Durham Regions and Victoria County. Community service sites are located in: Port Perry, Beaverton, Uxbridge, Bowmanville, Lindsay and Whitby. The Advantage Assertive Community Treatment Team operates from a base in Peterborough with sites in Cobourg, Lindsay, Haliburton and Whitby.

WMHC is accredited by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA). It opened as a mental health facility in 1919 and operates under the auspices of Health Care Programs (Central East Region), Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The Centre is regulated by the Mental Hospitals Act, the Mental Health Act and other provincial and national legislation.

WMHC's services are designed to provide successful treatment, rehabilitation and earliest possible reintegration into the community. Assessment and crisis services are provided, as well as consultation, education and community development. The Centre values service partnerships with consumers and their families, general hospitals, community mental health services and other agencies.

A seventeen member Community Advisory Board advocates community understanding and awareness of mental health issues, helps the Centre identify and respond to community needs, provides an effective liaison between the Centre and the community.

WMHC employs 850 staff and has an annual operating budget of $49.2 million (1999/2000).

In 1996 the new state-of-the-art Whitby Mental Health Centre opened. Located on 86 acres on the shores of Lake Ontario, the modern facility offers numerous advantages for consumers and staff such as: advanced design and physical environment features; an integrated structure; patient care units designed for ultimate flexibility of use and safety; modern equipment and building systems; ample indoor and outdoor program and recreational space; proximity and accessibility to support services; and up to date information technology.

In 1998/1999 WMHC had 761 admissions, 113,640 patient days, 3,402 day treatment days, 32,848 outpatient contacts and 14,383 outpatient attendances.

Corporate Services

Corporate Services of Whitby Mental Health Centre includes key operational, strategic and administrative functions, all vital to the successful day-to-day operation, management, leadership and future development of the organization.

Administration

Whitby Mental Health Centre's (WMHC) Administration provides management and leadership for the facility's programs, services and general operations ensuring efficient and effective use of financial, human and physical resources. WMHC is part of Health Care Programs (Central East Region), Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC). Administration liaises closely with the WMHC Community Advisory Board to determine and implement the facility's mission and strategic priorities. An annual "operating plan", submitted to three District Health Councils in the WMHC catchment area and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, summarizes operational results and planned changes for the current fiscal year and beyond.

Community Relations

WMHC maintains an active involvement in multiple community initiatives throughout the catchment area. Most of these are targeted at improving the capacity of the mental health network and responding to identified service needs. WMHC is a proud and prominent participant in community affairs of the Town of Whitby and vicinity. WMHC invites public involvement in the facility's operations whether a tour, education or general information about our services or mental health matters. An annual meeting, hosted by the Community Advisory Board and open to the public, is a unique occasion to participate in an educational event and to dialogue with volunteers, Board members and staff. WMHC welcomes use of conference rooms and recreational facilities by community groups. The Waterfront Trail (Waterfront Regeneration Trust), open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic, crosses the lakefront portion of the WMHC site. WMHC provides communiques and newsletters to staff, volunteers and others on a regular basis.

Employee Health

Employee Health provides health surveillance and occupational health and safety services to the staff, volunteers and students in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

Finance/Payroll

Finance and Payroll incorporates the financial and business processing functions for WMHC, its staff, its patients/consumers and its customers.

Fire and Safety

The Fire and Safety Officer ensures that WMHC's health and safety systems are functioning appropriately and that appropriate plans are in place to prevent and respond to unsafe situations (e.g., fire).

Housekeeping and Laundry

WMHC's Housekeeping service is dedicated to maintaining and promoting a clean, healthy and safe environment for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors.

A Laundry service is available on site to ensure the collection, transporting, handling and processing of clean and soiled linen.

Material Management

Material Management incorporates a number of facility functions including: mailroom and photocopying, stores, CSR, switchboard, purchasing, transportation and courier services.

Nutrition and Food Services

This service ensures that patients, staff, volunteers and visitors benefit from balanced and nutritional meals and snacks available on clinical units and in the Lakeview Cafeteria. The Main Street Cafe provides an ideal alternative for food preferences and for socializing.

Patient Council

The Patient Council is an elected voluntary board of consumers/survivors/ patients who have received mental health services at WMHC or in the Centre's catchment area. The Council's focus is on issues, laws, policies or practices that affect the quality of life for all consumers/survivors in WMHC and surrounding service area.

The Patient Council's philosophy is:

"Our philosophy and first responsibility is to assist and provide a voice for consumers/survivors of the mental health care system by working directly and indirectly through our community work with other organizations. We will promote the right to self-determination and assist people to acquire the skills, supports, and services that may enhance the quality of their lives.

We will address issues systemically, through due process, providing a consumer perspective on mental health reform. The services we provide, and the needs and preferences of the consumers we serve will determine issues we deal with. We will respond in flexible and innovative ways to these needs by research and development."

Planning and Development

This function ensures that WMHC's planning initiatives are consistent with community needs and strategic priorities. The Whitby Mental Health Redevelopment Project resulted in the reconstruction of WMHC, enhanced community mental health services and new acute care mental health beds in general hospitals in the catchment area.

Plant Services

Plant Services includes various trades required to maintain WMHC's equipment, systems, physical environment and grounds in a safe, comfortable and functional condition.

Security

WMHC's security service ensures monitoring and control of the Centre's building and grounds.

Shift Managers

Shift Managers, functioning as the officer-in-charge, provide on site management of WMHC's operations outside of normal business hours.

Volunteer Services

The Whitby Mental Health Centre Volunteer Association, formed in 1966, is an independent registered charitable organization. The Association provides a vital community link by inviting individuals and community groups to participate in WMHC activities and projects that enhance the efforts to service patients/consumers in the Centre and in the community. Over 220 volunteers, from all walks of life, are available to give their time to provide support, friendship and services through the Centre such as: Centre Shop, Image Centre, Resource Centre, One-to-One and Friendly Visiting, Cooking/Baking, Entertainment and Social Activities, Crafts, Leisure Activities and more. As well, volunteers dedicate many hours to fundraising and special events.