St. Joseph’s Healthcare COAST Youth program in Hamilton is geared to serve children and youth and their families/caregivers who have mental health concerns and are in crisis. The COAST Youth program serves children and youth up to their 18th birthday.
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.
If necessary, the COAST mobile team, consisting of two staff will respond to the crisis call.
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. Children and youth and their parents/caregivers 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. Children and youth may receive support or follow-up until either the crisis has been resolved or they have been linked to appropriate community resources.
Psychiatric consultation, assessment and/or treatment is negotiated on an individual basis.
The Child and Youth Initiative is funded by the Ministry of Community Family and Children Services.