Care teams in Mental Health Care programs

Upon admission to one of Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Programs your care team may be comprised of the following highly trained and qualified professionals to help meet your needs and achieve your goals.

Behaviour therapist 

Behaviour therapists work within an interdisciplinary team using Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to change socially relevant behaviour.

Behaviour therapists use a variety of assessment techniques to determine why an individual engages in problem behaviour and investigate factors that may contribute to the behaviour.

Positive based strategies are developed to teach relevant skills and decrease maladaptive behaviour. ABA is most widely used with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities but is also effective in treating individuals with mental illness.

Child care worker (Adolescent Program only)

Child care workers facilitate positive change in youth by assisting the young person in developing an understanding of how their actions are delaying them from optimizing their natural development toward independence.

In this process, child care workers consider the youth’s wishes, their developmental stage and the young person’s life experiences.

Developmental Service Worker (DSW) 

A DSW supports people in all stages of life who have a developmental disability. DSWs have core values which focus on social justice, empowerment, dignity, self-worth, human relationships and integrity.


The registered dietitians provide individual and group counselling in all aspects of nutrition including diabetes education, healthy eating and weight management. The dietitians have an excellent understanding of the impact of mental health on nutrition. They will work with patients and families to answer nutrition questions and plan nutritional care.


Nurses are an integral part of your health care team. During your stay, you, your family and support system will partner with registered nurses, registered practical nurses, clinical nurse specialists and/or nurse practitioners. A nurse provides skilled support, a safe environment, medication management, proactive interventions and treatments with patients and their families, while advocating for the unique needs, preferences and rights of those entrusted to their care.

Nurses join with patients and families to support them in their journey toward recovery and optimal functioning, using best practices.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy is about helping people do activities that are important for them—looking after themselves and their homes, working and being involved in their communities. Occupational therapists support people in doing activities (occupations) so they can be healthy, feel good about themselves and manage daily life.


Pharmacists are medication experts - they are extensively trained in the appropriate use of medications, including herbal supplements, prescription and non-prescription medications. They work with the patient’s care team to regularly review medication orders and provide drug information to ensure safe and effective medication use for each patient.


The role of the physiotherapist is to maximize the independence of a patient’s physical function. The physiotherapist also educates patients and staff in the proper use of mobility equipment and in the performance of exercises in a safe manner. Exercise programs are done in either an individual or in a group setting. Patients are assessed and a treatment plan is implemented with on-going reassessment. 


A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in assessing, diagnosing and treating mental disorders. A psychiatrist may use a variety of psychotherapies including facilitating psychiatric rehabilitation to treat patients as well as administering medication. 


Psychologists are experts in human behaviour. In a mental health setting, they provide assessments, treatment and rehabilitation. Psychologists also offer consultation to other team members, and contribute in the areas of applied research and education related to mental health issues.

Psychological associates are practitioners of psychology who deliver similar services as psychologists. Psychological services are sometimes provided by non-regulated practitioners called psychometrists. Psychometrists work under the professional supervision of a psychologist, and are often employed to do testing or to provide structured forms of psychological therapy.

Rehabilitation counsellor

Rehabilitation counsellors provide varied and specialized services. Their primary function is to assist with the development of vocational skills to enable individuals with disabilities to secure gainful employment and coping skills to enable them to function with dignity and independence in their community. Rehabilitation counsellors work collaboratively to evaluate the changing needs of the consumer and community to ensure the required services are being offered.

Social worker

Sometimes problems with family, relationships, illness/mental illness, or practical issues like finances and housing can cause concern and worry that may affect our physical and mental health and well-being. A social worker can help you with these concerns.

Social workers in mental health have specialized skills in counselling, psychotherapy, family work, group work, crisis intervention, community liaison and discharge planning. Often, the social worker is the main contact person for the patient, family or community.

Spiritual care provider

A chaplain provides a number of services including emotional and spiritual support and counselling, crisis intervention, grief and bereavement counselling, weekly meditation sessions, spirituality groups, worship and sacramental ministry. Chaplains work with patients as well as their friends and family to find spiritual care and support within their hospital experience.

Spiritual care supports people from any religious or non-religious background. Feel free to ask your care provider to connect you with spiritual care, if you wish.

Therapeutic recreationist

Participating in leisure activities provides structure to one’s day. Therapeutic recreation professionals assist individuals with exploring, resuming and pursuing leisure interests with an optimal level of independence. Therapeutic recreationists provide a supportive setting in which to practice and apply skills related to leisure interests of choice in both the hospital and community.

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