Lakeridge Health Introduces New Streamlined Referral Model to Simplify Access to Mental Health and Addictions Services

Posted on Tuesday June 20, 2023
Central Connects

Durham Region – Lakeridge Health is proud to introduce Central Connect – a new referral model to access mental health and addictions (MHA) services across the organization.

Central Connect streamlines the more than 30 referral methods previously used for the MHA program and creates a single point of access to more than 55 programs and services for outpatients, Durham Mental Health Services, and Pinewood Addiction Services.

“Using a person-centred approach, Central Connect takes the navigation out of the hands of those who need us and simplifies access to our programs and services,” explains Beth Brannon, Senior Director, Mental Health and Addictions. “It’s a huge step forward in Together, Best Mental Health, our multi-year mental health and substance use services strategy, and will greatly improve the experience of those seeking mental health and addictions care across Durham Region.”

Health-care providers and patients can now easily make new referrals into the MHA program by:
• Calling: 905-440-7534 (or toll-free at 1-833-392-7363)
• Emailing:
• Using the patient or health-care provider e-referral forms available on the Lakeridge Health website.

“As one of Ontario’s largest MHA programs, Lakeridge Health is known for providing evidence-based mental health and substance use services delivered with care and compassion,” says Kirsten Burgomaster, Health System Executive, Regional and Community Care, Lakeridge Health. “Central Connect will enable us to provide clients with the right care, in the right place in a way that makes it easy for people to seek help.”

Dr. Kevin Chopra, Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director, Mental Health and Addictions adds that “Central Connect is an important part of our goal to create a system that is accessible by all, tailored to individual needs, easy to navigate, person-focused, evidence-based, equitable, and compassionate.”

For more information about Central Connect, visit the Mental Health and Addictions program section on the Lakeridge Health website.


About Lakeridge Health

With five hospitals, four emergency departments, three critical care units, a long-term care home, a full range of medical and surgical specialties, more than 20 community health-care locations and a state-of-the-art surgical centre within the soon-to-open Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre, Lakeridge Health offers some of the broadest and most comprehensive acute care, ambulatory care, and long-term care services in Ontario.

Lakeridge Health is also home to several regional specialty centres and services, including the Central East Regional Cancer Program, R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre, The Shoulder Centre, and eye care and chronic kidney disease services. Additionally, we are proud to serve our community with a full suite of inpatient, ambulatory, and community-based mental health and addictions services, and provide safe, high-quality, compassionate care in our state-of-the-art long-term care home, Lakeridge Gardens.

Guided by our vision of One System. Best Health. and supported by a dedicated team of more than 8,700 staff, physicians, and volunteers, Lakeridge Health is working in collaboration with the Durham Ontario Health Team, primary care, and community and government partners to foster a truly integrated, regional system of care. Together, we are focused on empowering people to live their best health and fostering an accessible, inclusive, and equitable environment for all.

For more information, please contact:
Sharon Navarro
Manager, Public Relations and Digital Communications
T. 905-435-7889