The COAST program is a program of St. Joseph’s Healthcare and serves the residents of the City of Hamilton who have serious mental health issues and are in crisis. COAST is a multidisciplinary team consisting of child and youth crisis workers, mental health workers, nurses, social workers and plain-clothes police officers.
A mental health worker will respond to a call on the COAST crisis line and make a preliminary assessment regarding the mental health concern. The worker will determine whether to respond with telephone support or a mobile visit.
Once the mental health triage worker collects information over the phone, the next step, if required is outreach. Daily, between 8 am to midnight, the outreach mobile unit, consisting of a mental health worker and a police officer, is able to go to the mental health crisis situation.
The goal is to help the individual/family deal with the crisis in the environment of choice where a management plan will be developed to defuse the crisis situation. A follow-up plan will also be provided.
If necessary, the follow-up plan may involve linkage to additional community agencies or support networks. Clients will be given the opportunity for support services following a crisis situation.
Clients requiring support or follow-up will receive assistance from the support team within 24 hours of the crisis situation.
The client will receive support or follow-up until either the difficulties have been resolved or the client has been linked to appropriate community resources.
Psychiatric consultation, assessment and/or treatment is negotiated on an individual basis.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare COAST Hamilton is proud to be part of a unified Community team effort in partnership with the Hamilton Police Service.
Funding for COAST is provided by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.