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


Womankind Addiction Service

COVID-19 Update

Please plan to attend your appointment, procedure or surgery as scheduled unless you are otherwise notified. During the pandemic, the hospital may be required to prioritize emergency and urgent cases, which may result in a change to your appointment. If this is the case, you will be contacted by a member of your care team. As always, our goal is to continue serving our community by providing quality hospital services for as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so during the pandemic.

Click here for more information about  our hospital during the pandemic.

Click here for more information about visiting the hospital during the pandemic.

What this program does...

Womankind Addiction Service (WAS) offers a safe, caring and supportive place where women are welcomed and assisted by our specially trained team to assess and define next steps regarding their substance use and recovery.

Telephone Support and/or Crisis Support provides crisis and telephone support to women and their families, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Withdrawal Management provides a safe, supported environment for women to withdraw from substance use and/or in a preventative way a place for women to come if they are at risk of relapsing. Women can attend a variety of supportive, recreational and peer-lead groups during their stay. Next step planning is part of the treatment process and done with women individually to meet their specific needs.

Supportive Housing assists women who have completed a treatment program to secure a safe, suitable, and partially subsidized home.

Taking Steps is a program for women wanting to learn more about their substance use and ways to change this use. We offer weekly groups, assessment and referrals.

Day and Residential Treatment provides trauma-informed, therapeutic, holistic and educational programming in an evidence-informed 5 week treatment model. The program includes individual and group counseling as well as leisure and peer-lead programs. Treatment is based on evidence-informed practices for women using substances and focuses on empowerment and relapse prevention.

Emergency Shelter/Transitional Programming provides a safe place for women without housing that require emergency shelter to transition into and out of treatment.

Aftercare “LIVING IN BALANCE,” supports women reconnecting weekly in a group to review how they are managing everyday life. The focus is continued learning and practicing approaches to prevent relapse.

WISDOM is for women who have experienced quality time without substances to connect with other women to mentor each other, gain strength, ideas, inspiration and support in order to continue to discover meaningful growth opportunities and realize their full potential.

Writing Group is a weekly opportunity for women to “write” together in a supportive group.  We have published two books of writing from this group. This program is open to women in all stages of recovery from substance use.

Primary care with a substance-use focus and psychiatric consultation are also available at Womankind.

How this program helps...

Womankind began in 2004 when Women’s Detox and Mary Ellis House, a residential treatment program merged. Our programs have been developed using key expertise from:

  • The women we work with
  • Community partners
  • Team and board members
  • Evidence-informed literature

The service is unique and is designed to help women with substance use and related issues receive compassionate care and the treatment they need all in one location.

Womankind Addiction Service was planned and developed based on the Ontario evidence-informed practices for women using substance and having experienced trauma and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) endorsed Ontario Withdrawal Management Standards. The program has expertise in evidence-informed practice for women with substance use problems (including tobacco).  The program is exceeding the Provincial Withdrawal Management Standards and continues to be a trendsetter and innovator in the field.  We work with women and their families from the point of considering the need to change substance use practices, thorough the continuum of care journey, including withdrawal, treatment, harm reduction weekly groups, continuing care, education and support for family members, supportive housing, and recovery peer-lead programming.

Your Care Team

The team at Womankind begins by talking with each woman to understand her willingness to participate in programs before an admission or referral is made. We assess what might be helpful and fully review each woman’s options with her. It is our expectation that we will remain a support for the woman over time as she works through her substance use issues towards recovery.

The team has specialty knowledge and skills related to women’s substance use, pregnancy, concurrent disorders (mental illness and substance use) and trauma.  We have expertise in working with women at all stages of change related to their substance use including while intoxicated, in withdrawal and in crisis, when considering treatment and attending residential and day treatment, when requiring assistance with housing and in continuing care.  Women also remain actively involved at Womankind in a variety of ways when they are in recovery.


Withdrawal Management / Telephone Support
Tel: 905-545-9100
Fax: 905 545-6385

Treatment Inquiries
Tel: 905-521-9591 ext. 237 (may reach voicemail)

Supportive Housing
Tel: 905-521-9591 ext. 234
Fax: 905 528-7255

Press the pound key for the Team Directory
Tel: 905-521-9591

Referral Process

Most women refer themselves to the program directly. Referrals may also be initiated by family members, friends, health care professionals, community agencies, employee assistance programs or legal representatives. If you would like to change your substance use we are available to speak with you 24 hours a day 7 days a week to talk about next steps. Involvement with any of the treatment components is up to the woman. The team completes a telephone assessment with the woman prior to any admission. An admission will be arranged based on the availability of beds and/or a referral will be made to a more appropriate program.  Women admitted to the program are consciously fit, able to get around and medically stable.

Preparing for Your Visit

After the telephone assessment, you will be invited to bring comfortable clothes and toiletries for the duration of your visit.  In the withdrawal management program, during the first 24 hours of your visit, we will be monitoring your withdrawal closely and encouraging you to rest.

Maps & Directions

We are located in the west end of Hamilton on 431 Whitney Ave. behind White Chapel Cemetery.

Please click here to view a google map.

Registration Procedures

Women in crisis related to substance use should call and talk with a team member about their issues and next steps towards recovery. We are here to help you and encourage you to call us at anytime (day or night) at 905 545-9100.

Women who wish to attend the day or residential treatment program will be required to complete the provincial assessment package and submit this by fax to Womankind 905-528-7255. Our intake team member will contact you to talk about your interest in the program and next steps.

You are welcome to attend the Taking Steps program without registering beforehand.  For more information about this program, please call us at 905-545-9100.

Women wishing to access a shelter bed should contact Womankind directly.  Admissions are based on availability and the needs of the woman. Where possible we will assist in accessing a shelter bed through our partnerships with other women’s shelter services.

After Your Visit

You are welcome to call us any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk about how your recovery is going and/or for additional support.  Please consider calling us if you are feeling that you might start using your substance again.

Some women find it helpful to attend the day program after their admission to the withdrawal management centre.  We encourage you to speak with one of our team members during your visit or by telephone to inquire about support through admission to the day program.

We also encourage you to explore these resources for more useful information:

Essentials of Trauma Informed Care

Trauma Matters