A Message to the Community from Eric Vandewall, President & CEO: October 8, 2021

Posted on Friday October 08, 2021


World Mental Health Day on October 10th is an important opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and wellness – the need for programs and services that support our community has never been greater. Since the onset of the pandemic, Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) has seen over double the number of patients seeking outpatient mental health services as compared to pre-pandemic levels of demand for these services. 

We know that in any given year, one in five people in Canada are living with mental health illness or addiction issues. By age 40, about half the population will have or have had a mental illness. Yet the ability to access mental health care close to home is growing more challenging as demand surges. Even before the pandemic, JBH inpatient and outpatient programs had been operating at capacity levels between 120 to 140 per cent since 2012. This impacts many other areas of our hospital, including the Emergency Department. That is why continued investment in our Mental Health and Addictions unit is so important.

I look forward to sharing more information with you about our efforts to build for the current and future needs of Burlington in the months ahead. Our vision is a strong, integrated and seamless system where community care providers, hospitals and other support services work together to provide timely and quality patient-centred care.

Since my last update, the province began its vaccine passport system, which requires proof of vaccination to be allowed entry to hundreds of venues in our region and thousands across the province. This is another necessary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the impact on our hospitals.

Vaccination has proven to be effective at providing protection against COVID-19 and lessening symptoms drastically. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. You may book an appointment to receive your vaccinations and download your vaccination receipt on the Ontario COVID-19 website.

Thank you for your continued support for our hospital, through signs, donations and over social media. It provides a much-needed boost to our staff, patients and families.

On behalf of Joseph Brant Hospital, I wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Please, stay safe and take care.

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