Dr. Kevin Chopra © Courtesy of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
The need for mental health care is at an all-time high. Studies have shown that one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness every year. Mental health conditions affect millions of individuals worldwide, transcending age, education, income level, and cultural background.
Despite its prevalence, mental illness continues to carry a burden of stigma, hindering access to necessary support and treatment. Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) shines in the face of these challenges, providing revolutionary care and fostering transformative recoveries. By championing change and advocating for mental health, Ontario Shores and its dedicated Mental Health Heroes make recovery possible for individuals and families with complex mental health challenges.
Psychological disorders, commonly known as mental health disorders, are caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality, and environmental factors. It is reported that almost one-half (49 per cent) of those who feel they have struggled with depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
At Ontario Shores, the focus is on personalized recovery plans encompassing a range of treatment options. Every aspect of care is tailored to the individual’s needs, from medication to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), psychiatric and psychological therapy, group therapy, and peer support counselling. Recognizing the importance of holistic well-being, Ontario Shores also emphasizes the role of diet, exercise, good sleeping habits, meaningful activities, and a positive environment in achieving and sustaining successful recoveries. Early intervention and treatment hold the key to not only recovery but also the realization of a fulfilling future.
“Ontario Shores is unique because we not only offer numerous outpatient programs, but we also manage patients with hard-to-treat mental illnesses through specialty treatments provided by a skilled and caring multidisciplinary team,” explained Dr. Kevin Chopra, Medical Director of General Psychiatry at Ontario Shores.
“Time is essential when treating people with severe mental illness. It takes time for medications and other therapy approaches to work, particularly when treating people struggling with severe illness. By coming to Ontario Shores, people can access the time, flexibility, and individualized care they need to recover.”
For over a century, Ontario Shores has provided compassionate, exemplary mental health care in a healing, recovery-oriented environment on the shores of Lake Ontario in Whitby.
One of four specialty mental health hospitals in the province, Ontario Shores excels at providing a high standard of care that is evidence-based, delivered in a friendly, healing environment.
“At the end of the day, the patients are why we do the work that we do,” said Dr. Chopra. “When their mental health improves and they can fully participate in an inclusive and stigma-free community, and their families are pleased with the care they received—those are the reasons why we went into medicine.”
Ontario Shores’ impact extends far beyond its hospital walls. The institution is renowned locally, nationally, and internationally for its leadership in mental health. Through cutting-edge research, Ontario Shores is pioneering advancements in mental health care that transcend traditional boundaries.
“At Ontario Shores, we have many community partnerships that support patients receiving the appropriate level of care in the right setting. For example, a person transitioning to outpatient care will work closely with our community teams to ensure they have the environmental supports they need for a successful transition,” Dr. Chopra continued.
By strengthening public advocacy and education, the institution aims to enhance the mental health care system and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“Improving access to mental health care is crucial,” Dr. Chopra shared. “It is essential to have a system that patients, families, and health care providers can easily access to find the right help at the right time. That is why donor support is so important. Funds raised through the Ontario Shores Foundation can help to improve that access and reduce wait times.”
The generosity of donors goes a long way at the Ontario Shores Foundation, paving the way for exemplary mental health care and stronger support throughout the recovery process. Their work creates a sense of hope for both the individual patient as well as the grateful family who surrounds them. The Ontario Shores Foundation’s grateful patient program, aptly named Mental Health Heroes, provides patients, families, and caregivers a way to express gratitude for the transformative mental health care they received.
This program allows patients and families to donate in honour and recognition of an Ontario Shores physician, therapist, nurse, caregiver, or staff member who made a difference in their life.
When you support the Mental Health Heroes program with a donation, not only are you showing your appreciation for the revolutionary care you or a loved one has received, you are helping ensure others living with complex mental health challenges can access the hope and recovery they need at Ontario Shores too.
To contribute to the life-saving care provided at Ontario Shores, consider donating today. You will help ensure that individuals and families receive the compassionate care they need to embark on a journey of recovery. Join the movement to champion change for mental health. Help create a future where every person has access to revolutionary care.
Visit OntarioShores.ca/Donate today to donate.
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.