Comprehensive Psychiatric Care FAQ

Who are the team members?

The treatment team is comprised of clinical experts including a psychiatrist, nurses, social worker, occupational therapist, recreation therapist, chaplain, addiction counsellor and others.

What is the typical length of stay?

The suggested length of stay is 56 days. The program may be shortened, or lengthened, if clinically required.

What happens each day?

A typical day begins with a group walk in the morning, after which patients are involved in group therapy and behavioural activation. Patients may have one-on-one sessions with team members. Evenings are typically free to spend time reflecting on the program, engaging in skills development, socializing, and practicing healthy leisure activities. 12-Step meetings, yoga classes, art therapy and social activities are also offered during the evening.

Do patients receive individualized care?

Yes. Each patient is assigned a prime nurse who will work with the other members of the clinical team to coordinate an individualized care plan. A care plan combines group psychotherapy, education and skill-building sessions and recreational activities. It is supported with one-to-one sessions with inter-professional team members.

Patients meet with their prime nurse regularly to review their progress and to plan the next steps in achieving their goals. The psychiatrist will review a patient’s progress daily, and the primary care physician will be consulted for physical concerns, as needed. Each patient’s recovery will depend on their level of engagement and participation in the program.

What is expected of patients?

All patients sign a therapeutic contract, which will be outlined on admission.

What are the groups all about?

Programming is DBT-informed. DBT or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a structured, cognitive-behavioural intervention that improves relationships and regulates stress and emotions. Patients attend group sessions that include the four modules of DBT: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Emotion Regulation. Mindfulness trains patients to refocus their attention when their thoughts and emotions become overwhelming. Distress Tolerance helps patients survive and tolerate stressful situations without making them worse. Interpersonal Effectiveness promotes boundaries, effective communication and assertiveness skills. Emotion Regulation allows patients to manage strong emotions and problem solve difficult situations. Complimentary programming includes cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural activation and addiction counselling.

How do family members get involved?

On the day of admission, family members and close friends are welcome to accompany patients, tour the facility, meet members of the treatment team, and learn more about the program. With the patient’s consent, family members and close friends can contact the prime nurse or doctor to discuss the individual’s care and progress. A family meeting can be arranged during the patient’s admission.

Do patients have to stay at Homewood Health Centre the entire time?

Patients are encouraged to stay in hospital for the first weekend to attend weekend orientation group sessions. After that, depending on the privileges assigned, patients are encouraged to return home to practice skills learned and to set new goals for the coming weeks. Toward the end of their stay, patients may be granted extended therapeutic leaves for up to four days to practice their transferable skills or to set up supports in their home community.

Privileges are offered based on what is safe for the patient, and for others. Patients are encouraged to prepare for weekends at home by completing weekend planning worksheets. It is recommended that they review these sheets with family and close friends to help plan future times together.