Lakeridge Health Introduces Three-Year Plan for Advancing Mental Health and Substance Use Services in Durham Region

Posted on Tuesday October 04, 2022

DURHAM REGION – As individuals and organizations across Canada mark Mental Illness Awareness Week, Lakeridge Health is proud to introduce Together, Best Mental Health – the organization’s three-year plan to deliver a more integrated system of mental health and substance use care in Durham Region.

“As one of Ontario’s largest hospital systems, Lakeridge Health is known for providing evidencebased mental health and substance use services delivered with compassion,” says Cynthia Davis, President and CEO, Lakeridge Health. “Together, Best Mental Health will allow us to transform how we plan and deliver our services, providing clients with the right services, from the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”

“Each year, Lakeridge Health has more than 100,000 mental health visits for adults, more than 12,000 visits a year for children and youth, and more than 14,000 visits to our Emergency Departments related to mental health and substance use – and these needs are only growing,” explains Dr. Kevin Chopra, Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Program, Lakeridge Health. “Together, Best Mental Health will help us evolve to provide care that is accessible by all, tailored to individual needs, easy to navigate, person-focused, evidence-based, equitable, and compassionate.”

Together, Best Mental Health was developed through multiple engagement opportunities. This included guidance and input from Lakeridge Health’s Client and Family Advisory Council and Community Advisory Panel for Mental Health and Addictions, a survey of people with lived and living experience, as well as consultation with system partners, subject matter experts, and other stakeholder groups. In addition, a review of literature, health data, and best practices around mental health and substance use services was conducted.

“Thanks to this input, Together, Best Mental Health is a collaborative strategy that reflects our deep partnerships with other agencies and groups, as well as clients, patients, and families in their journeys of care,” shares Beth Brannon, Senior Director, Mental Health and Addictions, Lakeridge Health.

Beth also notes that the plan offers an opportunity to advance the organization’s integrations with Durham Mental Health Services and Distress Centre Durham, which occurred in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

“These collaborations are facilitating smoother transitions and faster connections to appropriate services and helping to create a supportive continuum of care for clients,” says Beth. “Through Together, Best Mental Health, we can formalize these relationships and ensure there is clarity for our clients and their families when it comes to the delivery of care from Lakeridge Health.”

“We invite our community to take a look at the future of mental health and substance use care at Lakeridge Health in Together, Best Mental Health,” says Dr. Chopra. “Working alongside our partners, we look forward to delivering on this plan and providing the care and support that creates better outcomes for all.”



For information contact:

Sharon Navarro

Manager, Public Relations and Digital Communications

Lakeridge Health