St. Joseph’s Names New Mental Health Building

Sep. 19, 2012

After an extensive information gathering process that included surveys to staff and patients, focus groups, discussions with key groups, leaders and stakeholders the new forensic facility name has been decided. When the new building opens in the summer of 2013 it will be called:
Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care.

“St. Joseph’s is taking a bold step with this name,” states Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “People who need care in the forensic program are often double-stigmatized as they have a mental illness and have come into contact with the judicial system. Mental illness of any kind should not be hidden. The earlier people can get help the earlier they can be on the road to recovery.”

“The new name encompasses both the input received and where mental health care is heading,” says Sandy Whittall, VP Mental Health Services. “Not only did the staff and patients tell us they wanted the name to be a clear indication of the care we provide, it also speaks to our provincial mandate to serve people in Ontario.”

Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health CareThe facility will be a 233,640 square foot hospital built on the existing Regional Mental Health Care St. Thomas grounds in Central Elgin. “It will provide specialized inpatient and outpatient services, including assessment, treatment, outreach and support services to individuals with a mental illness who have come into significant contact with the criminal justice system” states Whittall. “And with this new building there will be an increase of nine beds, totaling 89 beds.”

In addition to the health care benefits, the building project is also providing a boost to the regional economy and respect for the environment. “At the peak of construction, it is estimated up to 300 workers are on site daily,” says David Crockett, VP Facilities Engineering. “And the building will carry with it the Gold Standard LEED designation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working with St. Joseph’s to build two new mental health care hospitals. The new London facility will be completed in December 2014.

View more information on the mental health buildings


For more information and interviews contact:
Amanda Jackman
Communication Consultant
519.646.6100 ext. 47155
Pager: 519.649.5530

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