Scarborough Health Network (SHN) is pleased to be moving forward with our new Community Mental Health Centre, anticipated to open spring 2024. For the first time, this centre will bring together ambulatory and community outpatient mental health services currently offered at different SHN hospitals and satellite sites into one shared location – allowing for better integrated and more streamlined access to care.

The new Community Mental Health Centre is one of SHN’s key capital projects, helping to Build It Forward for the future of healthcare in Scarborough. This significant investment in our community is being realized thanks to generous donors who have entirely funded the project through SHN Foundation’s Love, Scarborough campaign. Work has been forging ahead on the 15,000 sq ft space located in a mid-rise building at 1940 Eglinton Ave. E (near the intersection with Warden Ave.), which has been designed to provide the best possible experience for patients and clients. This includes a welcoming, respectful, inclusive, and highly accessible environment; large windows and natural light; interactive spaces to better accommodate group therapy and sessions; and a focus on patient, staff, and neighbourhood safety.

“We’re very excited to be approaching the finish line after months of planning, coordination, and construction. We know that patients living with mental illness are often challenged with both physical and social barriers in getting care, and our new Community Mental Health Centre will have a positive impact when it comes to their healthcare experience,” said Sari Greenwood, Director of Mental Health and Addictions, Oncology, and Palliative Care at SHN.

As one of the largest hospital-based mental health and addictions programs in Ontario – with more than 50,000 patient visits for ambulatory and community mental health services each year – SHN is committed to removing barriers in accessing our services. This includes a community-based focus that emphasizes the importance of helping patients get the care they need in the most appropriate setting to achieve their optimal level of well-being.

“For patients who need mental health care, possibly throughout their lives, it can be easier to seek services and treatment when they are more accessible right in the community. That’s the difference the centre will make when it launches this spring,” said Greenwood.

The Community Mental Health Centre also reflects a “no wrong door” approach to care that is part of a larger transformation of SHN’s mental health and addictions program. This includes a centralized intake model that better supports the over 10,000 patient referrals received each year, as well as establishing improved care pathways that subsequently allow the program to screen and triage these patients to the right service.

“We are extremely proud of the leading processes we have put in place and are developing to get patients the care they need more quickly and effectively. Now with the new mental health centre, we are truly building on those processes by bringing both services and clinical teams together at one location. This will allow us to optimize our ‘no wrong door’ approach to care and better support patients throughout their journey – whether they are starting to receive care, transitioning to other services, or connecting with resources, care settings, and providers in the community,” said Dr. Ilan Fischler, SHN Chief of Psychiatry.

New SHN Community Physiotherapy and Neurorehab Clinic

In addition to our upcoming Community Mental Health Centre, SHN will also be opening a new Community Physiotherapy and Neurorehab Clinic within the same building at 1940 Eglinton Ave. E. The program will offer outpatient adult musculoskeletal and outpatient neurorehab (stroke) services, which currently are being delivered at SHN in a hospital setting.

At this community location, patients who have been referred by SHN physicians will have access to a range of physiotherapy services to support recovery from surgeries, injuries, or illnesses that affect their mobility and function. Patients who have experienced a stroke can be referred for specialized physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology services. Our neurorehab physiotherapist also accepts patients with other neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The Community Physiotherapy and Neurorehab Clinic has been designed to enhance the patient experience with a focus on high-quality patient-centered care and a commitment to patient safety. We will be refreshing and modernizing our rehabilitation services, with purpose-designed treatment spaces, a virtual care room, a private treatment space for those who need it, and more. 

What’s next

Over the coming weeks, SHN will continue to keep patients, families, healthcare partners, and community members informed as we move towards the opening of the Community Mental Health Centre and Community Physiotherapy and Neurorehab Clinic later this spring.