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SJHH / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Mental Health Services/ Seniors Mental Health Service

Seniors Mental Health Service

Program Overview

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) Seniors Mental Health Service is the leading regional expert in providing evidence informed care for seniors with severe mental illness and behavioural disturbances due to dementia. As an academic teaching healthcare facility SJHH contributes to the development of future healthcare professionals by including them in the circle of care providers.

Seniors Mental Health Behavioural Unit (SMHBU)

The Seniors Mental Health Behavioural Program at SJHH is a secure unit for persons with dementia and behavioural disturbances that temporarily require intensive care resources until they can be reintegrated back into the community.

We acknowledge the likelihood of disease progression, within both dementia and other chronic health conditions, and their associated losses that may impact the person’s wellbeing as well as the family’s experience. Changes may impact the person in the following areas: physical, intellectual, emotional, functional, and social.

Seniors Mental Health Unit (SMHU)

Located at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton West 5th Campus. This program is located within the Mental Health and Addition Integrated Hospital on Inpatient unit Harbour East 1 (HE1). This program is a 12-bed inpatient Program that serves the Region of Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand and Brant (HNHB).

When to Refer

SMHU is an inpatient program that treats older adults over the age of 65 who experience severe mental illnesses such as major depression, mania, severe anxiety, psychosis, that develops in late life, are treatment refractory and have age related complexity that require medication trials in a highly specialized and supervised hospital setting. This program may also serve those with a long history of severe mental illnesses who develop age-related treatment complications as related to aging. 

Send Referrals to:

Fax: 905-381-5657 to the attention of Program Social Worker

Tel: 905-522-1155 Ext. 36208

Purpose of Admission

The purpose of admission is to gain an understanding of the combination of physical, environmental, and psychological causes of responsive behaviours. The team will develop a comprehensive treatment plan with the goal of stabilizing behaviours and enhancing quality of life, thus enabling the person to return to community or supported care setting such as long-term care. The team values a patient and family-centered approach to care, with the purpose of fostering collaborative, supportive, and respectful relationships between patients, families, and service providers.

Treatment and Discharge Planning

The purpose of treatment, which includes the use of medications, is to target the causes of responsive behaviours that pose risk to the patient and others, reduce distressing symptoms, improve overall quality of life, and ultimately to discharge patients to the most appropriate care setting. Transition destinations may include Long-Term Care, transitional care placement, a less acute behavioural unit, or an alternate care facility while they await long-term care.

Our Interdisciplinary Team

Our interdisciplinary team includes a range of specialized staff whose focus is on active treatment and management of these behavioural symptoms through use of non-pharmacological care strategies in conjunction with pharmacological interventions.

Maps & Directions

St. Joseph's West 5th Campus
Seniors Mental Health Behavioural Program
Harbour North Unit
100 West 5th Street
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3K7

Click here for directions to the West 5th Campus.

Additional Resources

Alzheimer’s Society serving Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Hamilton, Halton

Alzheimer Knowledge Exchange Resource Centre