A Specialized Courtyard for Pediatric Mental Health

HAMILTON, ON: McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation celebrated the opening of the Wellness Courtyard at McMaster Children’s Hospital on October 16, which will benefit pediatric mental health patients by enhancing the clinical care they receive.

A photo of the new Wellness Courtyard

The new Wellness Courtyard

“The outdoor Wellness Courtyard will provide an opportunity for patients to enjoy sunshine and fresh air, which is important to their well-being,” says Dr. Olabode Akintan, Medical Director of Inpatient, Day Hospital and Psychiatry Emergency Services at the Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

Mental health challenges affect one in five Canadian children. McMaster Children’s Hospital helps care for these patients, as it is home to the largest single-site inpatient pediatric mental health program in Canada.

The new courtyard is a secure and monitored environment, which is particularly important for patients who are at increased risk of self-harm. Suicide is the leading cause of non-accidental death in youth.

“I would estimate that 70 to 80 per cent of our patients are admitted on account of concerns about their safety, which is often related to suicide,” says Dr. Akintan.

Research shows the positive link between physical activity, play, mindfulness and mental health. The safe and therapeutic outdoor space will help maximize care for mental health patients, with staff available to offer support and guidance.

Attendance at the opening ceremony included many donors, whose financial contributions enabled the construction of the courtyard.

“We are grateful for our donors, as this courtyard was completely funded through donations,” says Pearl Veenema, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. “It is remarkable that so many donors were inspired to help create a positive, outdoor space for a vulnerable patient population.”

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About McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation  

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, as part of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, is focused on raising funds in support of McMaster Children’s Hospital, including Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, McMaster University Medical Centre and their programs. The Foundation provides funding for leading-edge equipment and patient amenities, innovative research initiatives, redevelopment of patient care spaces, and the education and training of health care providers.

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation supports specialized pediatric and women’s reproductive health programs. The second largest provider of inpatient pediatric services in Ontario, the site is also home to a dedicated pediatric emergency department, more than 40 outpatient clinics, the province’s largest neonatal intensive care unit including supportive maternal care, the largest single-site inpatient pediatric mental health program in Canada, and the only pediatric trauma centre in the region. Specialized outpatient services are provided at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, as part of McMaster Children’s Hospital. At its shared home with the Hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre delivers a wide range of women’s reproductive health services, including high-risk obstetrics and pre-natal screening, as well as a number of adult outpatient and day surgery clinics. The Foundation is focused on enabling outstanding patient care through its goal of Health Care, Transformed.

Media Contact:

Michael Cordeiro
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
905-521-2100 ext. 73374
cordeiromi@hhsc.ca