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Accessing Care for Psychosis / Schizophrenia

Psychosis is a mental health condition that affects the mind. It causes you to lose touch with reality and you may see, hear, or believe things that aren’t actually there.

Schizophrenia is characterized by having psychosis for more than six months and experiencing a decrease in the daily ability to function. 

Getting help to treat your illness is a step forward in the right direction. There are treatment options such as medication and psychotherapy that have proven to be effective in treating people with psychosis and schizophrenia. Learn more about treatment

We are here to help

Ontario Shores offers several inpatient and outpatient services that can assess and treat psychosis and schizophrenia. We are here to help you through this journey of recovery and will work with you to determine which service area would be the most appropriate. 

How to access care

If you or someone you care about is experiencing psychosis, we encourage you to speak to their primary care provider, such as a family doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist, and ask them to submit a referral to Ontario Shores. If you don't have a care provider you can request a referral at your local hospital emergency room. 

Make a Referral

We realize that it is not always that simple and sometimes those living with psychosis and schizophrenia don't realize they need help. At these times, the risk that you or your family/loved one might pose to themselves needs to be evaluated. Sometimes, it is necessary for a person to be admitted into the hospital even if they do not want to (ie. involuntarily). If you are concerned for the safety of someone experiencing psychosis, or are afraid they are going to harm someone else please consider calling 911 or M.C.I.T at 1.800.742.1890 or 905.666.0483.

Individual unwilling to receive treatment?
In situations where a family member may require mental health services but are not willing to attend an assessment, families are encouraged to reach out to your their local Justice of the Peace (Ontario Courts).  They will advise you to complete a  "Form 2 Mental Health Act Form (Order of Examination)" and present it to the courts.  Learn more through this process map provided by CMHA

Registered outpatients
If the person experiencing psychosis is a registered outpatient of Ontario Shores please reach out to the assigned clinician and or crisis service.

Emergencies / Crisis
If you are concerned about the safety of yourself based on you current mental needs or you are a family member or loved one that is worried about someone’s mental health and safety, you can call 911 or access the Durham Region’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (M.C.I.T.) at 1.800.742.1890 or 905.666.0483If you have imminent concerns about your safety or the safety of other, call 911.

What to expect after a referral

After a referral is submitted to Ontario Shores it will be reviewed by our Central Intake Team who will determine if the individual meets the criteria for one of our treatment programs. If the criteria is met, you or the person that made the referral will receive a phone call to book the first appointment for an assessment. 

Wait times for our inpatient and outpatient services can vary, depending on the waitlist and level or urgency of the patient care needs.

If after the assessment it is determined that the individual can be supported in the community, they will be offered outpatient services in an Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) based on the location or Outpatient Complex Psychosis Consultation Service.  If the patient is an adolescent, they are likely to be in a first or early episode of psychosis and would be referred to an Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) Program such as the one at Lakeridge Health. 

If the individual requires brief or slightly longer stabilization or support, inpatient services will be most appropriate and our clinicians will support you through the admission process. For example, you may be offered service through our Assessment and Reintegration Program on one of the Complex General Psychosis Units, or through the Adolescent Inpatient Unit


What to expect

What to expect while in treatment for Psychosis/Schizophrenia

Self Help

Self-Help Resources

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

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