Mental Health is Top of Mind

One in five children in Ontario suffers from a mental, emotional, or behavioural disorder.

Photo courtesy of Carole & Roy Timm Photography

Photo courtesy of Carole & Roy Timm Photography

The team at McMaster Children’s Hospital operates programs at both of its sites: an inpatient unit at the hospital and an outpatient service at the new Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. The teams provide mental health assessment, consultation and evidence-based treatment, while working to erase the stigma of mental health issues. This is critical as the earlier a patient can be assessed and receive treatment, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome.

“Anxiety and depression are on the rise,” says Lori Issenman, Director, Child and Youth Mental Health, Hamilton Health Sciences. “Before social media, children were able to turn off external peer pressures when they were home. Now it’s 24/7.”

“After high-risk patients have been identified, it’s important to get in front of an issue before it becomes a major problem. Our interdisciplinary team members each bring their specialties to the table as we support patients. When I think of our program, I think of invigoration and positive energy. We’re passionate about what we do.”
– Lori Issenman

Lori is excited about the direction of child and youth mental health care services at Hamilton Health Sciences, and is appreciative of the Foundation’s current campaign to develop an unutilized space at McMaster Children’s Hospital into an outdoor courtyard for patients. While Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre was built with a courtyard integrated into the unit, the inpatient program at the Hospital does not have one. Staff identified the importance for patients to have a secure and calming outdoor space that would significantly enhance the clinical care they receive.