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New Mental Health Unit opens to meet growing demand at Southlake

Monday February 13, 2023

Southlake Regional Health Centre is proud to announce the completion of a new 12-bed Adult Inpatient Mental Health Unit. After years of planning and construction, the new unit will begin serving patients at the end of February. With this added capacity, Southlake will be able to serve more than 2,000 patients each year with specialized equipment and furnishings tailored to meet the needs of mental health patients.

The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, joined Southlake representatives, local members of provincial parliament, Hon. Stephen Lecce, Hon. Michael Parsa, and Dawn Gallagher-Murphy, as well as leading philanthropist Michael Croxon for an official grand opening event earlier today.

“We are thrilled to be opening this new unit to increase access to mental health care in our community,” says Arden Krystal, President and CEO. “Thanks to the investment from the Ontario government and the generosity of our donors, we are able to care for more patients in a space that is suited specifically for their needs.”

In 2021 the Ontario Government announced a $6.5 million investment to support the expansion of Southlake’s Adult Inpatient Mental Health Unit. Southlake Foundation then launched the Better Begins Today, Mental Health Campaign to cover the remaining costs of the expansion.  Through the incredible support of the community, a $7.5 million fundraising goal was reached that enabled the building of the Emergent Mental Health Assessment Unit and the new 12-bed Adult Inpatient Unit, along with other site improvements to transform mental health care at Southlake.

“Our government is proud to help expand inpatient mental health capacity at Southlake,” said Hon. Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This new adult inpatient mental health unit will allow patients in York Region to connect to the mental health care they need, closer to home.”

Southlake’s total inpatient mental health capacity will increase from 24 to 37 beds. The new unit incorporates new spaces for social interaction, recreation, and a better overall patient experience throughout the healing process. This expansion reflects a more modern approach to care and includes a common area to support patient recovery for group therapy and dining, as well as larger dedicated interview rooms to maintain patient privacy when receiving care. A large nursing station will help improve the staff experience and accommodate a 360-degree monitoring system to support patient and staff safety.


“The struggle with mental health issues continues to increase every year across Ontario. I look forward to seeing the success of this new inpatient unit as it will provide a safe space for residents of York-Simcoe to better access essential therapies for their mental health. This investment for Southlake Regional Health Centre will ensure our government continues to respond to the needs of our community.”

  • Hon. Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York–Simcoe

“We know that many families are facing mental health difficulty, which is why expanding access to quality mental health supports is so critical. The opening of the Adult Inpatient Mental Health Unit at the Southlake Regional Health Centre will increase access to a dedicated medical team to support individuals in King and Vaughan overcome their difficulty with better supports, investment, and optimism.”

  • Hon. Stephen Lecce, MPP for King–Vaughan

“I am proud to celebrate the opening of Southlake Regional Health Centre’s new adult mental health unit, and the role it will play in breaking down barriers for mental health care. This expansion will allow individuals in our community to get the treatment they need, when they need it – empowering them to live healthy, productive lives.”

  • Hon. Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill

“The new Adult Inpatient Mental Health Unit at Southlake is another example of how our government is expanding health care services closer to home. This newly renovated space will ensure that individuals who need emergency mental health support receive the care they need, in a safe, modern, comfortable environment. Thank you to Southlake for everything you do to support our community and for helping residents on their journey to wellness.”

  • Dawn Gallagher-Murphy, MPP for Newmarket – Aurora

“The journey to better mental health needs more than medicine. We are so grateful to our community of donors who stepped up so powerfully to support this campaign and have allowed us to build a place of peace, dignity, and security, for patients in crisis, close to home. It’s an extraordinary achievement we can all be proud of.”

  • Jennifer Ritter, President and CEO of Southlake Foundation

“As part of the Philanthropy Cabinet at Southlake Foundation, I understand how important this campaign is to the communities NewRoads has called home for the past 20 years. Every one of us is either personally touched or are just one connection away from someone who is working through mental health challenges.  Southlake’s Mental Health Program is crucial to the care of our communities and I’m so proud to have supported this incredible move forward.”

  • Michael Croxon, President and CEO of the NewRoads Automotive Group and leadership volunteer with Southlake Foundation

“Southlake is at the heart of the mental health crisis in a region that has one of the country’s fastest growing and rapidly aging populations. This new unit will allow us to expand the care we can offer to our communities and ensure leading edge mental health care.”

  • Barbara Steed, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services, Southlake Regional Health Centre

“The opening of this unit is not only an essential support for our patients and community but is a great testament to the hard work of Southlake’s Capital Development team and all the tradespeople who turned our vision into reality.”

  • John Marshman, Vice President, Capital, Facilities and Business Development, Southlake Regional Health Centre

“It takes a great deal of support from many different levels to create new units, and this expansion is the result of comprehensive collaboration to build something entirely new for Southlake’s mental health patients. This space will make a difference to patients and help them start their journey to recovery.”

  • Stella Johnson, Director of Mental Health, Southlake Regional Health Centre

“For patients experiencing a mental health crisis, their environment can play a crucial role in their recovery journey. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals worked closely with our Capital Development team to create a space with specialized equipment that prioritizes the needs of our mental health patients, focusing on space, privacy, dignity, and support while protecting everyone’s health and safety.”

  • Mahdi Memarpour, Chief of Psychiatry, Southlake Regional Health Centre