Mental Health Care: Forensic Program
St. Joseph's Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care (Southwest Centre) is located in Elgin County and is devoted to caring for people with a mental illness who have also come into contact with the criminal justice system. Encompassing a recovery philosophy of care, the state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility provides a healing environment that promotes each individual’s journey of recovery towards community re-integration.
The Forensic Psychiatry Program at Southwest Centre is comprised of 89 inpatient beds which include assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation programs, as well as an outpatient Forensic Outreach Team that services a large geographical area of Southwestern Ontario.
Interdisciplinary teams within the Forensic Psychiatry Program assist patients toward recovery. Through intensive work with our teams, patients are able to develop the new skills and supports needed to successfully reintegrate back into their communities.
The facility serves patients living in South-Western Ontario which includes the counties of Elgin, Middlesex, Grey, Bruce, Essex, Kent, Lambton, Oxford, Huron, Perth and Kitchener-Waterloo. However, forensic programs across Ontario function as a provincial system so individuals may be delegated to any forensic facility in Ontario, depending on bed availability.
Patients within Southwest Centre’s Forensic Psychiatry Program are individuals who have been declared either unfit to stand trial, have been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental illness or are referred for assessment by the criminal justice system.
The population served includes people with a broad range of severe and persistent mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, and personality disorders who may or may not also have a concurrent disorder.
All patients within the Forensic Psychiatry Program are under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Review Board (ORB).
The Forensic Program values its academic relationship with Western University, Fanshawe College and other academic institutions far and wide. The program offers a wide range of training opportunities for students in medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, spiritual care and therapeutic recreation, as well as education and consultation to the community and other health care providers with regards to general forensic issues.
Research activities within the program aim to advance the knowledge base in the area of forensic psychiatry.