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

Seniors Mental Health Service

COVID-19 Update

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is beginning to reintroduce surgical and outpatient services slowly using a gradual, phased approach.  Some individuals, based on the severity of their condition and care needs, are being scheduled for procedures and treatments.

If you are a patient, your care team will contact you with more information when you are rebooked or booked for your treatment.

If you have concerns, please call your family physician. If there is an emergency, please call 911 and go the hospital immediately. If you have an urgent issue, please go to an urgent care centre. If this is a mental health emergency, call 9-1-1, the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 905.972.8338 or online at coasthamilton.ca; go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has Emergency Psychiatry Services at 50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton.

We are doing our best to serve all patients as quickly as possible, while ensuring the safety of our staff, patients and community. Thank you for your continued patience.

Click here for more information about your appointment and the reintroduction of services.

What this program does...

The St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Seniors Mental Health Service is a regional leader in the provision of evidence informed care and service to seniors with severe mental illness and the families, caregivers and providers who support them. 

Our service provides care for older adults with:

  • Dementia ( e.g. Alzheimer Disease) with associated behavioural complications/responsive behaviour with or without concurrent mental illness

Note: Older persons with dementia can be prone to decompensation or change often due to multiple (physical, intellectual, emotional, functional, environmental and social areas), interdependent causes

  • Severe mental illness ( e.g. depression, mania, anxiety, psychosis, progressive cognitive disorder etc.) that develops in late life

Note: Symptoms in the older person can often be misinterpreted as consequences of normal aging and such late life disorders can result in significant decline and problems in physical, functional, behavioural, social and psychological well-being

  • Chronic, severe mental illness ( e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc) who develop age-related complications

Note: Symptoms due to chronic severe mental illness may be inappropriately identified as due to aging, or vice versa

  • Complex physical problems who have developed associated mental illness in late life

Note: There can be an insidious onset and mental health symptoms can be falsely identified as due to the complex physical health illness, or vice versa

  • Late onset alcohol, substance abuse or other addiction issues which can be associated with losses in old age and/or mental health problems.

How this program helps...

We provide specialized service to seniors with complex mental health, dementia, addiction and/or behavioural complications in our Seniors Mental Health Inpatient Behavioural Program or in the regional communities we serve (e.g. Brant, Hamilton, Niagara, Halton and North West Mississauga).  We see community-based seniors in a clinic or office-setting, or in their own home (e.g. house or apartment, retirement home, supportive housing, Long Term Care Home etc.).

Your Care Team

Dr. Peter Bieling, Program Director
pbieling@stjoes.ca

Dr. Maxine Lewis, Clinical Head of Service
lewism@stjoes.ca

Dr. Karen Saperson, Academic Head, McMaster University, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry 
saperson@mcmaster.ca

Shelley Wright, Inpatient Manager
Telephone 905-522-1155 ext. 36727
swright@stjoes.ca

Julia Baxter, Community Outpatient and Outreach Programs Manager
Telephone 905-681-8233 ext. 226
jbaxter@stjoes.ca

Dr. Carrie Mc Ainey, Director Program Evaluation and Research
mcaineyc@mcmaster.ca