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Accessing Care for Intellectual Disabilities

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis refers to an individual with an intellectual disability who may have a psychiatric disorder and/or challenging behaviour.

We are here to help

Ontario Shores offers both outreach, and inpatient services to individuals with a dual diagnosis and their families. The program provides in-depth assessment to treat people with complex psychiatric problems which may include mental health issues and/or challenging behaviours.

The Dual Diagnosis Outreach program provides a comprehensive in-depth assessment and psychiatric consultation. Depending on the patient needs treatment recommendations will be made which may include accessing community resources, or admission to our inpatient unt. 

The inpatient Dual Diagnosis Service (DDS) Unit provides patients with individualized programming such as life-skills, recreation, supportive counselling and group activities. Behavioural treatment is based on a functional assessment and will include the training and education of supporting family and community agencies. Our Dual Diagnosis team works with community resources to help successfully integrate clients back into the community through a collaborative model of treatment.

How to access care

To be referred, you must be an adult between 18 and 65 years of age with an intellectual disability (IQ less than 70 or below the 3rd percentile). The intellectual disability must have been determined prior to your 18th birthday. Referrals are accepted from physicians and psychiatrists and will be based on clinical need.

Make a Referral

What to expect after a referral

The process of having a referral accepted could take from 1 day up to several weeks depending on several factors, such as the completeness of the referral (missing information requiring follow up), length of the wait list, and on the level or urgency of the patient or family need.

Once a referral has been accepted, you can expect to hear from the Dual Diagnosis Outreach clinician within a week (offered virtually). A date for a virtual initial assessment will be provided during that initial contact.  The assessment will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes and be arranged and conducted by Dual Diagnosis Outreach clinician

Arrangements will follow for the consultation (also offered virtually) that will take approximately 90 minutes. The consulting psychiatrist will make recommendations that could include accessing available community resources and/or determining if other professionals should be involved in the treatment. Should the consulting psychiatrist feel that an inpatient admission is required, arrangements may be made for this when an appropriate bed is available on the unit which can take several weeks.

During the admission, an assessment will take place by an interprofessional team that includes behavioural, occupational and recreational therapies as well as psychiatric, medical, nursing and social work engagement.  Admissions generally take several weeks but are typically less than 90 days.

Learn more about what to expect when in treatment for a Dual Diagnosis at Ontario Shores

Self Help

Self-Help Resources

While you wait for service please review these self-help resources

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