Mental Health Care: Forensic Program - Services

The Forensic Program at Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care offers both inpatient and outpatient programs and services.
Five inpatient units provide unique interventions throughout each individual’s journey of recovery, including different levels of security and privileges which balance autonomy and manage risk.

The program's mission is to enable persons with mental health disorders who have been in conflict with the law to improve functioning so they may be successful in the community.

Through longer-term treatment, individuals receive the supports necessary to ensure the safety and security of themselves, staff members and the public at large.

Inpatient units   

Individuals who are inpatients of the Forensic Program reside in one of five secure units:

  • Forensic Assessment Unit: A secure environment which focuses on providing consultation and specialized assessments regarding fitness to stand trial, criminal responsibility and sentencing to the justice system.
  • Forensic Treatment Units: Two treatment units provide psychiatric stabilization and initiate longer-term integrated treatment, rehabilitation, and support to patients on Ontario Review Board dispositions. The unit operates under a model of psychosocial rehabilitation. Patient privileges are introduced gradually depending on each individual's illness status, security needs/risk, and tolerance for less structure.
  • Forensic Rehab Readiness Unit: A unit that allows for increasing levels of privileges within a structured environment. Progress to this unit reflects improvement in the clinical status of patients and their changing Ontario Review Board dispositions. Intensive engagement and initial rehabilitation take place on this unit with a focus on developing personal goals and initial steps toward community reintegration.
  • Forensic Rehabilitation Unit: On this unit the primary focus is on community re-integration, as well as building the skills and supports necessary for a successful transition out of hospital. 

Forensic Outreach Program

The Forensic Outreach Team plays a crucial role in the safe and successful transition of forensic patients back into the community.

Patients who have made a transition to the community are managed as outpatients through the Forensic Outreach Team and remain under the disposition of the ORB. The ORB annually reviews the status and progress of each patient as the individual transitions from an inpatient setting back to community living.

Intensive rehabilitation efforts continue within the community setting where skill training and ongoing risk assessment and management take place. The team works closely with other community-based agencies across Ontario to link individuals with the appropriate on-going supports (e.g. ACT teams, residential treatment, group homes, etc.). The outreach team provides ongoing forensic monitoring and risk management for these individuals and uses its forensic knowledge and expertise to assist the ORB in determining an individual’s suitability for absolute discharge from the forensic mental health care system.

Virtual tour

Join Janice Vandevooren, Director of Forensic Psychiatry and Cameron Shantz, Principal Parkin Architects Limited, as they tour you through the new Southwest Centre, talking about the innovations and ideas behind the design and what it means for patient care and recovery.

Part 1: Introduction/Overview (View on YouTube)

Janice and Cameron give an overview of the facility and introduce the purpose and intent for spaces in each of the three areas of the facility; the downtown, neighbourhood and house.

 Part 2: The Downtown (View on YouTube)

Janice and Cameron tour through spaces in the 'downtown' area of the facility; the chapel, gym and library, spaces that encourage social interaction and community.

 Part 3: The Neighbourhood (View on YouTube)

 Part 4: The House (View on YouTube)

Janice and Cameron tour through the 'house'; the patient care area, complete with private rooms for patients, nutrition stations and a relaxation room, all helping to provide spaces for patients where privacy and dignity are valued.