A $1-million pledge to help create a new Community Mental Health Hub in the heart of Scarborough

SCARBOROUGH (March 10, 2021) – As part of a recently announced $30-million Mental Health Initiative, the Slaight Family Foundation has pledged $1-million to Scarborough Health Network (SHN) to support the future of community-based mental health care in Scarborough. The initiative, which supports 19 organizations total, aims to provide new or enhanced mental health support and services to address Canada’s growing mental health needs.

The donation will support SHN in creating a new Community Mental Health Hub, in a centralized location in Scarborough that will combine all of SHN’s adult outpatient mental health services into one safe and accessible site. The health network’s new purpose-designed Hub will centralize all adult mental health outpatient services in a central location serving young adults from ages 18 to 24, adults and seniors, and will offer programs and resources to manage and treat mental health challenges.

“SHN operates the second-largest community hospital-based mental health and addictions program in Ontario,” said Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO, SHN. “The Hub will contribute to an exceptional patient experience by making mental health services accessible to the more than 10,000 patients referred to our mental health programs each year. This is a real win for Scarborough and I extend sincere thanks to the Slaight Family Foundation for helping us create better access to specialized care that meets the unique needs of our community.”

“One of the biggest barriers facing individuals with mental health and addiction needs is timely access to the right evidence-based treatment to help them recover quickly,” says Dr. Ilan Fischler, Chief of Psychiatry at SHN. “The Community Mental Health Hub will have a “One Door Team” who will receive all referrals for mental health and addictions services at SHN whether through a primary care provider, emergency department or inpatient unit. Patients being referred will not have to wait for a full psychiatric assessment to get the service they need. The idea is that no one is left behind, and we promote quick and accessible treatment for the Scarborough community. We are so grateful to the Slaight Family Foundation for their commitment to this project.”

Specifically, this gift will create The Slaight Family Foundation Cultural Psychiatry Clinic within the Hub, providing accessible and culturally-safe mental health care for our vibrant and diverse population. The first-of-its-kind in Ontario, the clinic will offer treatment by expert psychiatrists in over five languages who will treat a variety of mental health challenges. The new Hub is currently slated to become operational by the end of 2021.

“During my tenure with SHN over the last year and a half, this is the second time the Slaight Family Foundation has supported health care in Scarborough,” says Alicia Vandermeer, President & CEO of SHN Foundation. “We cannot thank the Slaight Family enough for their continued generosity, support and commitment to building a brighter, healthier future for all of Scarborough.”

An ad to thank The Slaight Family Foundation appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and The National Post on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.