Department of Psychiatry
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SunPACT — Sunnybrook Program of Assertive Community Treatment — helps patients with severe and persistent mental illness function in the community.

The SunPACT team includes a group of therapists, nurses, psychiatrists and social workers who bring support, treatment and rehabilitation to patients in their homes and in the community, helping with the everyday management of their illness and keeping them out of institutions.

Patients are assisted with medication, side effects, housing, daily living, appointments and social functioning overall.

Community outreach is an invaluable service, in particular for those who wouldn't have other supports. These illnesses can not be cured, however we can help to stabilize them, help patients to become more aware so that they are better able to manage in their day-to-day lives and better function in society. We see the whole picture in their home environment and are therefore better able to provide support where needed.

Fifty-five per cent of SunPACT's patients have schizophrenia, and the remaining 45 per cent include a variety of affective disorders, bipolar (manic, severe depression) and a variety of other psychiatric disorders. Schizophrenia for example, can be very debilitating, but its symptoms can be controlled with support, treatment and awareness.

What to expect

The program is based in a hospital environment, which has many benefits. In a crisis, when a patient is admitted into Emergency, the Psychiatry Emergency Services (PES) team initially treats these patients. Only about 35 to 50 per cent at any given time are admitted to an inpatient unit; the rest are discharged home and can be referred to SunPACT, which then provides support before any further, more serious incidents or severe deterioration takes place.

Prior to the program commencing, the average hospital stay for mental health patients was 75 days per year. With the work of SunPACT and other similar programs, this number has dropped to less than 10 days.

It's a recovery model; it doesn't mean a cure but rather it's more about quality of life and being able to operate again within the community. Recovery is a personal thing and is different for everyone. Some people may still require some institutionalization at some level, however many do not and can function well with support, awareness and treatment.

Location and contact

We are located in F-wing, 1st floor, room 120. Phone: 416-480-4611.