CURRENT
NEEDS

Mental Health

Better healing starts here.
YOU make it possible.

Whether it’s a new mom coping with post-partum depression, a teenager with suicidal thoughts, a university student suffering from cripplingly anxiety, a grieving widow or a senior struggling with dementia, mental health challenges affect us all.

Mental health is health. And it’s a rapidly growing challenge that cannot be ignored in our region.

Currently, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) cares for approximately 1,700 mental health patients every year. This works out to about three patients in crisis every day. The problem is: our hospital doesn’t have acute mental health services. We’re not equipped or funded to care for mental health patients. Therefore, when a patient arrives in crisis at our hospital, we have to transfer them to an acute mental health bed at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital (Soldiers),Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (Waypoint) or due to lack of beds, sometimes even further. However, when beds are full across the region, which is common, our patients must wait at GBGH until an appropriate bed becomes available — sometimes for days — delaying care and contributing to a worsening of their mental health state. 

People think we have enough acute mental health beds to service our community

But we do not. Learn how you can help transform Mental Health Care at Georgian Bay General Hospital.

People think we have enough acute mental health beds to service our community

But we do not. Learn how you can help transform Mental Health Care at Georgian Bay General Hospital.

No one should have to wait days or weeks for the care they need. And especially not when they are in crisis. It’s heartbreaking. Our patients and our community deserve better. But we need your help to change this.

GBGH has submitted a Capital Submission to the Ministry of Health to bring a comprehensive acute mental health program to our hospital. With our community’s support, we can raise the $20 million needed to address urgent needs at GBGH, including building a 66,000-square foot acute-mental health wing with 36 beds. This urgently needed facility will help us meet the soaring demand for mental health care in our region and provide our patients with a better place to heal, safely, at home in their community, with the expert, comprehensive, mental health care they need.

QUICK STATS
Mental Health admissions at GBGH
grew by 22% from 20/21 to 21/22

“By giving today you will literally be creating a bridge to a new wing, where patients who have nowhere to go and can’t access care, can finally get the support they so desperately need.”
– Matthew Lawson
President & CEO, GBGH

Driven by limited resources, a rapidly growing substance abuse problem in Simcoe County and many other social determinants of health including lower incomes and a lack of access to affordable housing, our region is experiencing two to three times higher than the provincial average for mental health care needs.

We have a critical shortage of acute mental health beds in our region. During 2019/20, only 31 per cent of mental health patients who presented to an emergency department in North Simcoe-Muskoka had a length of stay less than 12 hours, due to the lack of mental health beds in the region. More than a quarter of patients (28 per cent) waited more than 24 hours for a mental health bed. The provincial average is 9.7 hours.

Circle charts with Wait time data
Blueprint of a medical facility

Join us on a new beginning
for better healing today.

On March 1, 2022, GBGH submitted its Stage 2 (of five) Capital Submission to the Ministry of Health requesting a comprehensive acute mental health program for our community.

The journey has begun but there’s still a long way to go. With our community’s support, we can raise the $20 million needed to address urgent needs at GBGH, including building a 66,000-square-foot acute-mental health care wing. This addition would be attached to the back of the hospital, near the ambulance bay, which is adjacent to the 22 acres of land that was purchased in 2021 from a legacy gift to the hospital. This will eventually become the future site of our new hospital expansion.

This state-of-the-art mental health wing will house 36 beds, including 18 acute beds, 10 beds for geriatric patients, and eight beds for a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Along with in-patient services, the unit will provide day programming to help patients transition back into the community and would be staffed by nurses, psychiatrists, counsellors, recreational and occupational therapists, crisis workers, dieticians, psychometrists, teachers, clerical support, peer support workers and other health care providers.

Our goal is to tender this project for construction in early 2024 and to welcome our first patients to a peaceful, supportive environment, built for recovery, healing, and care in 2026/27.