Mental Health and Addictions Service

Ambulatory Services

The Ambulatory Care Services provide interprofessional team-based care to adults experiencing mental health and concurrent disorder difficulties.  We support people along a spectrum of illness severity, in our outpatient and collaborative care programs with the goals of supporting recovery and quality of life in the community. 

Urgent care

The Urgent Care Program (UCP) is a partnership initiative between St. Michael's Hospital, CAMH and Sound Times. The UCP provides timely outpatient mental health care for up to 3 months for clients recently discharged from St. Michael's Psychiatric Emergency Service and/or Inpatient Mental Health Unit. 

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Urgent care teamServices offered

The UCP consists of an inter-professional team including psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, nurses, social workers, and case managers.

The UCP provides psychiatric care including:

  • Assessment
  • Medication management
  • Community case management
  • Brief supportive psychotherapy

Eligibility criteria

Adults 18 years and older experiencing a crisis, who are in need of rapid follow up after an psychiatric inpatient or emergency department visit at St Michael's Hospital.

How to access the service

The Psychiatric Emergency Service and Inpatient Mental Health Unit are the only referral sources for UCP.  For further information please contact 416-864-5120.


General Assessment Clinic

Psychiatry residents, supervised by staff psychiatrists, assess patients referred from family physicians and other physicians across southeast Toronto. In some cases we offer brief follow-up.

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General Assessment Clinic teamServices offered

The service offers a consultative model to enable the referral source to manage the presenting mental health issues. If appropriate, short term interventions or referrals to one of our specialized treatment programs will be facilitated.

The assessment clinic team is composed of psychiatric residents and supervising Psychiatrists. The team provides consultation, short term interventions and facilitation of referral ; where if appropriate

Eligibility criteria

  • Catchment area: East of Yonge St., south of Bloor/Danforth and west of Victoria Park
  • Referrals by physician only
  • Age range: 18 years or older

How to access the service

To access St. Michael’s Mental Health Ambulatory and Community Mental Health Programs a patient referral form must be completed by a family physician and faxed to 416-864-3091. For further information please call 416-864-5120.


Mindfulness based cognitive therapy group programs

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is offered as an eight-week psychotherapy group for people struggling with depression and emotional distress. In this group, participants are introduced to mindfulness based meditation practices as a way developing skills to manage depression, anxiety and stress. This is a structured, psychotherapy group and participants will be provided with materials to support their learning outside of sessions. Groups will consist of guided meditations, group discussion, and CBT exercises. 

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Services offered

All groups are run during daytime business hours and are two to 2.5 hours.

Eligibility criteria

This program is open to patients of St. Michael's Mental Health and Addictions Service and patients of St. Michael's. This group is for people with a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety who are open to learning with a group and committed to establishing a daily home meditation practice. All participants must attend a mandatory information session before groups commence.

How to access the service

 To access St. Michael’s Mental Health Ambulatory and Community Mental Health Programs a patient referral form must be completed by a family physician and faxed to 416-864-3091. For further information please call 416-864-5120.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Group Program

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy group for depression and anxiety.   

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Services offered

MBCT groups are offered three times a year - in fall, winter and spring.  There are no groups running in the summertime.  All groups are run during daytime business hours and are about two hours.  Fall group focuses on anxiety while the winter and spring groups will focus on depression.

Eligibility criteria

The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) group for depression and anxiety is an eight-week group that helps people develop CBT skills to manage symptoms of distress. In addition to group discussions, this is a structured psychotherapy group involving home practice through readings and worksheets.

All groups are run during daytime business hours and are 1.5 to two hours.

This program is open to patients of St. Michael's Mental Health and Addictions Service and patients of St. Michael's. This group is for people with a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety who are open to learning with a group and committed to establishing a daily home meditation practice. All participants must attend a mandatory information session before groups commence.

 


Mindful Awareness Stabilization Program (MAST)

MAST is an introductory group to mindfulness practice for those interested in learning about emotion regulation.

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Services offered

In this four-week group, participants will be introduced to different mindfulness practices that help to surf the waves of overwhelming emotions.  Participants will come away with information and concrete tools to develop greater emotional stability in their daily lives. MAST is offered throughout the year and is only during daytime hours.

Eligibility criteria

This program is open to patients of St. Michael's Mental Health and Addictions Service and patients of St. Michael's. All participants are asked to attend a group information and intake session, and to attend all four sessions.

How to access the service

To access St. Michael’s Mental Health Ambulatory and Community Mental Health Programs a patient referral form must be completed by a family physician and faxed to 416-864-3091. For further information please call 416-864-5120.

More about the MAST program.


Collaborative Care Clinics at Family Practice sites

Psychiatrists from the St. Michael's Mental Health and Addictions Service provide care at the St Michael’s Family Health Team sites. We provide patient assessments, and also support primary care providers in caring for their patients through case conferences and education. We use a team-based approach to care.

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Collaborative Care Clinics teamServices offered

Collaborative Care provides timely access to psychiatric assessment, patient follow-up when required, case consultation and case conferences, education sessions, involvement in quality improvement, program development and evaluation. The program is also dedicated to development knowledge and scholarship through resident training.

Eligibility criteria

Patients of the Family Health Team who do not already have a psychiatrist.

How to access the service

The Collaborative Care psychiatry program can be accessed through any clinician (e.g. family physician, psychologist, or social worker) at the Family Health Team.


Wellness and Recovery Enhancement Program

Wellness Recovery Enhancement Program (WREP) provides time limited psychiatric services, individual counseling and case management services for clients who have a mental illness. For further information please call 416-864-5120.

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Services offered

The clinical team consists of psychiatrists, a social worker and a nurse.

Services include:        

  • medication stabilization
  • recovery plan development
  • referral to community based programs
  • individual counseling/treatment to support client goals

Eligibility criteria

  • Catchment area: east of Yonge St., south of Bloor/Danforth and west of Victoria Park
  • Referrals by physician only
  • Age range: 18 to 65 years (referrals for those above age 65 will be assessed on a case-by-case basis)

How to access the service

To access St. Michael’s Mental Health Ambulatory and Community Mental Health Programs a patient referral form must be completed by a family physician and faxed to 416-864-3091. For further information please call 416-864-5120.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) is an eight-week, structured psychotherapy group for helping patients manage symptoms of psychosis. Through psycho-education, group discussion, readings and worksheets patients will learn techniques to better manage their symptoms. All sessions are during the day, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and will be approximately 1.5 hours long.

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Eligiblity criteria

This program is open to patients of St. Michael’s Mental Health and Addictions Service and patients of St. Michael’s who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and have a current treating physician. Acceptance into group requires patient motivation and ability to attend weekly group psychotherapy. All referrals will be reviewed for eligibility, and participants are asked to attend a group information and intake session prior to being accepted into the group program.


Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams

The Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (MCITs) are collaborative partnerships between participating Toronto area hospitals and the Toronto Police Service. The program partners a mental health nurse and a specially trained police officer to respond to situations involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Coverage is now available throughout the City of Toronto.

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The MCIT's mandate is to:

  • Make an immediate on-site clinical assessment of the person in crisis
  • Attempt to stabilize and defuse the crisis
  • Assist in removing the individual from serious harm to themselves or others
  • Provide supportive counselling, as needed
  • Arrange appropriate mental health treatment through referrals to an appropriate agency or apprehension under the Mental Health Act
  • Coordinate and facilitate transportation to the hospital emergency department if further psychiatric and medical assessment is required

Can I call an MCIT?

No, you cannot call an MCIT directly. If you or someone around you is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Toronto Police Service at 416-808-2222 or 911 in an emergency.

Are MCITs first responders?

No. Priority Response Units are the officers that respond to all calls for service including 911 emergency calls. They will attend calls for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis first to ensure it is safe for the nurse. The MCIT will then attend as secondary responders when the PRU indicates it’s safe to do so.

Although MCITs have traditionally been considered secondary responders, the program has evolved since its inception in 2000. The MCITs now may operate as co-responders to calls that do not include weapons or any other identified safety concerns. This means, when appropriate, MCITs will respond simultaneously with Priority Response Unit officers.

Are MCITs accessible 24/7?

The teams operate seven days a week and, depending on the team, will work beginning at 11 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. The hours are based on the times when the police receive the highest number of calls related to people experiencing a mental health crisis. 

The TPS is available 24/7 to attend 911 calls involving a person in crisis.

Do MCITs use police vehicles?

Yes, MCITs use police vans designated for MCIT.

Do the teams use handcuffs?

The police officer has the responsibility to ensure individuals and the community are safe. However, police officers are able to use discretion in any situation where they may have to use hand cuffs.

If apprehended under the Mental Health Act, where will the person be taken?

An individual who may be experiencing a mental health crisis that is potentially a danger to themselves or others may be apprehended by police under the MHA. In doing so, the individual will be taken to the nearest psychiatric facility which is most often the nearest hospital emergency room.

The Toronto Police Service is currently partnered with the following hospitals:

Toronto Police Service divisional maps and boundaries


Working with Emotions Group

The Working with Emotions Group is a 20-week group based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). This is an effective treatment for people who have difficulty controlling their emotions and behaviours. The group teaches people skills to replace problem behaviours (e.g., self-harm, suicidal behaviours, drug/alcohol use, emotional outbursts) with skillful behaviours. The goal of treatment is to reduce misery and distress, and create a life worth living. All sessions are during the day, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and are approximately two hours in length. 

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Eligiblity criteria

This program is open to patients of St. Michael’s Mental Health and Addictions Service. It is designed for patients who experience emotion regulation difficulties that lead to problematic behaviours (e.g. self-harm, suicidal ideation/behaviours, emotional outbursts, relationship difficulties). Patients must be able to commit and attend weekly two-hour group sessions, and have concurrent individual follow-up by a mental health professional for the duration of the group.