Ontario investing in new centre for brain and mental health care

Government of Ontario press release – As part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, Ontario is investing $27 billion over 10 years to build new and expanded hospital infrastructure.

On Monday, Nov. 4/2019, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was joined by Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health, and Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, to announce that the province is investing up to $60 million to support the construction of the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, a new, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to brain and mental health at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

“Investing in the new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre at Sunnybrook, the first centre of its kind in Canada, is part of our plan to end hallway health care and support innovation and integrated care,” said Elliott. “This project will help bring together key services currently scattered throughout the ageing hospital. It will add more beds, expand outpatient clinic services, support better integrated care and provide doctors and researchers with the right tools, equipment and space to make new discoveries that could significantly improve quality of life and even save lives.”

Expected to be completed by December 2022, the new centre will bring together health care teams from across the brain sciences field such as psychiatry, neurology, imaging, neurosurgery and geriatric medicine.

As a provincial resource for mental health care and research, the centre will be the largest youth mental health service in the Greater Toronto Area and will include:

  • An expanded family navigation project to support youth aged 13 to 26 and their families find and access the care they need;
  • 12 new inpatient mental health beds (bringing the total number of beds to 48) that will provide more support for adults, youth and those who need intensive care;
  • A centre for youth bipolar disorder and a centre for anxiety disorders;
  • Neuromodulation services for those with severe medication and treatment-resistant mental health disorders;
  • One of the largest Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinics of its kind in Canada;
  • The largest traumatic brain injury clinic of its kind in Ontario; and
  • Sleep disorder services and ambulatory clinics.

“Sunnybrook is grateful to the province for the tremendous and essential investment in what will be a leading-edge resource for brain and mental health care in the province and beyond,” says Dr. Andy Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “We are also deeply appreciative of the incredible support from the community and our significant lead donors. Sunnybrook’s new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre will revolutionize brain and mental health care by connecting experts in a state-of-the-art facility that will foster innovation and discovery while providing compassionate support for patients along their health care journey.”

This investment is part of the government’s plan to build a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients, which includes a commitment to invest $27 billion over 10 years to build new and expanded hospital infrastructure.

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital.
  3. Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario, including today’s investment of up to $60 million to support the construction of the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre.

Quick Facts

  • The new three-storey Garry Hurvitz Brain Health Sciences Centre will be about 121,000 square feet
  • Ontario will invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system.