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Ontario Shores Asks For “A Name A Day” To Support A New Model For Mental Health Care

A Name a Day
Published Date

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is building community support to bring a cutting-edge mental health emergency model to Ontario to address increasing demands for psychiatric services.

Ontario Shores has launched the A Name A Day campaign to raise awareness and community support for building Canada’s first Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Treatment and Healing Unit (EmPATH), which has a proven track record of transforming mental health outcomes in hospitals across the United States.

“Our ER facilities are not optimized to provide urgent help to patients suffering from the most severe mental health issues, and oftentimes worsen their symptoms and outcomes,” said Karim Mamdani, President and CEO of Ontario Shores. “The good news is that there are better models of care that provide a superior return on investment for patients, families, first responders, health care professionals and everyone who uses the Ontario health-care system.”

A Name A Day aims to educate and engage the public on an otherwise hidden issue by providing information about mental health emergency services, collecting signatures and building support to secure government funding for the construction of the new transformative unit at the hospital’s campus in Whitby.
If the project receives the required funding from the Province, Ontario Shores will be able to provide the care needed by those who are experiencing a mental health crisis and free up resources in other emergency departments, allowing acute care doctors and nurses to focus their attention on other patients and directly addressing hallway health care.

“Simply put, the way we deliver mental health care in Ontario has to change,” Mamdani said. “The EmPATH emergency room model is proven to decrease wait times, divert from inpatient hospitalizations and reduce the use of restraints, which is what mental health patients need to ensure they can be treated and recover from what they’re experiencing. To make the project a reality, we need the help of the community.”
Over the past four years, emergency department visits for mental health-related issues increased by 25 per cent and substance misuse visits increased by 40 per cent, while all other visits increased by only four per cent. During this same period, Durham Regional Police reported a 77 per cent increase in mental-health related apprehensions.

The COVID-19 pandemic is only adding to the demand for mental health services. Health Canada, using conservative data based on SARS, estimates that more than 11 million Canadians will experience increased levels of stress during the COVID-19 outbreak, and more than two million Canadians will show signs of traumatic stress.

Ontario Shores is prepared to be the first hospital in Canada to provide the cutting-edge EmPATH model of psychiatric emergency services for those in greatest need.

To find out more about A Name A Day, the EmPATH model and how to support the project, visit

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a public teaching hospital providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services to those living with complex and serious mental illness. Exemplary patient care is delivered through safe and evidence-based approaches where successful outcomes are achieved using best clinical practices and the latest advances in research. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care built on compassion, inspiration and hope. To find out more, visit

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Marshall
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 6581

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