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SJHH ... / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Mental Health Services/ Developmental Dual Diagnosis Program/ Frequently Asked Questions | Developmental Dual Diagnosis


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Developmental Dual Diagnosis?

Dual Diagnosis describes a situation where a person has both a developmental disability and a mental health problem. For more information about Developmental Dual Diagnosis visit CAMH or consult the DSM-5.

What treatment is available for Dual Diagnosis?

We have a highly specialized interdisciplinary team that works together to provide client and family centred care to meet the needs and goals of our clients.

We help by:

  • Supporting primary care physicians in assessing and treating their clients who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • Determining if a client’s behaviour is related to a mental health concern and creating a patient-centred care plan, including applicable treatment options.
  • Providing education, coaching and support for families and caregivers.
  • Offering recovery-focused treatment to help clients achieve their goals.
  • Providing medications to treat mental health concerns (if required).
  • Providing adult autism assessments.
  • Working collaboratively with a client’s existing care providers, school and other supports.
  • Referring clients other services.

Our team includes dedicated nurses, psychiatrists and occupational therapists who are privileged to serve diverse clients and their families. Our team works together to provide an integrated high quality care experience.

If you would like to learn more about our program or discuss any questions you have please contact us at 905-522-115 ext. 36610.

Do you accept self-referrals?

We are happy to work with you and a family doctor to complete a referral form. Please contact us at 905-522-115 ext. 36610.

How does the referral process work?

Complete referral form: work with a family doctor or your psychiatrist to complete our referral form.

Submit the referral form: Submit the completed referral form to: Fax | 905-381-5619

Check your status: Contact 905-522-115 ext. 36610 to check the status of your referral or to let us know if your needs have changed. If you have immediate needs let us know.

Receive appointment booking: We will call you to book your appointment. 

Referral Tips:

  • Avoid delays – Complete and accurate forms will enable clients to access care faster. Please ensure that all fields are filled-out and that the information is accurate.
  • Ensure that the client/family/substitute decision maker is aware of the referral. Our program cannot proceed with treatment unless the client, family or substitute decision maker (power of attorney) consent to treatment. 
  • Work with your family doctor or psychiatrist - In all cases a family doctor or your psychiatrist needs to be involved in the process, as he/she will be following up with the client after care is provided. For practitioners, it is also important to provide any information you may have in regards to the referred client’s intellectual status as is required by Developmental Services Ontario.
  • Ask questions – We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at 905-522-115 ext. 36610.

How long is the waitlist?

The average length of our waitlist is approximately three months, however the length of our waitlist changes depending on the number of referrals, urgency of care needed and the type of assessment required by our clinic. If you have any questions please contact us at 905-522-115 ext. 36610.

What resources are available while on the waitlist?

We know waiting for service can be challenging and you may require support during this time. We are committed to providing help as soon as possible. If your needs change or become more immediate please us know.

If you are already connected with Developmental Services Ontario and your needs have changed, check to see what support options may be available.

Below are additional resources that may be helpful to you while you are waiting for care:

COAST offers telephone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Barrett Centre for Crisis Support supports individuals in developing effective solutions to their crises through an immediate assessment, care and support.

Autism Ontario is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact.

Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities supports professionals and students working and pursuing careers in the field of developmental disabilities.

If I am already being seen by a psychiatrist, can I still access your services?

Yes, we encourage you to discuss our program with your treating psychiatrist and have them send in a referral form.

I’m on a waitlist for Bethesda - Twin Lakes Clinical Services. Can I still be referred to your program?

Please let us know if you are on the waitlist with Bethesda-Twin Lakes. We are actively working to limit duplication of service to ensure equitable and timely access for other residents of Ontario. This may require you to choose which service organization best fits your needs.

How does your program work with other service providers?

We work within your circle of care and with the health service provider who referred you to our service. We will collaborate with any other services supporting your care needs but will require documented consent to share information.

I am a client in a residential care setting. Does my family or substitute decision maker need to attend my appointments?

We are happy to have family or any other participants attend appointments. It is up to the client to decide who they would like to attend the appointment and if you have family or a substitute decision maker acting on your behalf we recommend that they attend the appointment.