November 29, 2006 18:10 ET

Whitby Mental Health Centre Opens Doors to the Community

Open House Celebrates a New Chapter in its History

WHITBY, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 29, 2006) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

The Board of Directors of Whitby Mental Health Centre (WMHC) welcomed local dignitaries, partners and community members to an Open House today, to celebrate a new chapter in its history.

In his opening remarks, Brian Hart, board chairman, welcomed visitors to the facility and to a new beginning. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to open our doors to the community," Mr. Hart said. "We look forward to making the Whitby Mental Health Centre into a true community-based operation and in doing so make a significant step forward in the delivery of mental health services."

Following its divestment from the provincial government in March 2006, WMHC conducted consultation sessions with employees, partners and stakeholders to learn more about community priorities and the service needs in the delivery of mental healthcare. President and CEO Glenna Raymond extended the organization's appreciation to all those who participated in the consultation process.

"Many of you here today provided your input and helped us with our transition to a public hospital. I would like to extend our appreciation for all your help and guidance," said Ms. Raymond. "As we move forward, we want to enhance our partnership networks and strengthen community relations."

Ms. Raymond also took the opportunity to unveil WMHC's new core values. "Excellence, innovation, safety, respect and community will be the core values underlying everything we do here at Whitby Mental Health Centre," Ms. Raymond explained. "We are fortunate to have a dedicated and highly skilled staff, many of whom are already living these values. Working together with families, providers and the public as our partners, we look forward to a bright new future for our patients and for the communities we serve."

The Open House featured keynote speaker former First Lady Margaret Trudeau. For all her adult life, Ms. Trudeau has suffered from the debilitating effects of her bipolar condition. Now, after seeking medical treatment that has given her life balance and happiness, she advocates strongly on mental health issues, helping people overcome the stigma of mental illness that often prevents sufferers from getting help. Her message of hope and recovery was an inspiration to everyone who attended.


Whitby Mental Health Centre Core Values

We aim for EXCELLENCE - through leadership and learning, we achieve exceptional performance in all we do, while fostering an environment of optimism, hope and recovery.

We encourage INNOVATION - through research and creative approaches, we support the advancement of mental health care.

We value SAFETY - we provide a safe healing environment for our clients and a sense of security for our patients' families, our employees and the community at large.

We RESPECT all individuals - encouraging diversity and treating everyone with dignity, while embracing the rights, beliefs, opinions and contributions of others.

We are a COMMUNITY - we work together as one team, and with families, providers and the public as our partners, while maintaining mutual trust, transparency and shared purpose to enhance our patients' quality of life.

About WMHC

Whitby Mental Health Centre (WMHC) is a public hospital that serves a population of 2.5 million residents and employs 1000 people. WMHC provides a range of specialized mental health programs for inpatients and outpatients throughout a primary service area that includes Durham Region, York Region, Scarborough, Toronto, Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough Counties and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

WMHC also operates treatment residences in Stouffville and Oshawa; provides specialized community outreach services; and supports residents in privately operated Homes for Special Care. In addition, the Centre is actively involved in mental health research and education activities.

Contact Information

  • Whitby Mental Health Centre
    Susan Nakhle
    Director, Communications and Public Affairs
    (905) 668-5881 ext. 6039
    Email: nakhles@wmhc.ca