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Hamilton Psychiatry Consultation

Psychiatry Consultation Services are offered for the City of Hamilton and the region of Niagara, Haldimand, Brant, Burlington and Norfolk. These services are available to children and youth, up to their 18th birthday.

This one-time service does NOT provide urgent psychiatric consultation. If you are concerned about acute safety issues for your patient (e.g., suicidal ideation), please contact your local crisis service or direct your patient to the nearest emergency department.

Please note this service is not for ongoing treatment and care. If such services are required, including ongoing psychiatric involvement, we can help connect you to these services.

Psychiatry Consultation is for:

  1. Diagnostic clarification
  2. Second opinion
  3. Medication consultation

A psychiatrist will meet with you/your child to learn about the difficulties that you are having. If you have family members with you, you can decide to let them take part in discussions.

Having family members present assists with:

  • Helping everyone reach a common understanding of you/your child’s difficulties
  • Making recommendations to your family doctor/ pediatrician who referred you to best suit you/your child’s needs

As we are a teaching hospital, medical residents and students in health professions may also be involved in you/your child’s care.

What to expect at your first visit

Before your visit

Before we meet, we ask you or you and your family to complete a mental health questionnaire to get to know you and your family, if they’re involved. It’s a lot of questions, but helps us to begin to understand and learn more about you and what we can do to help. We send a link to the questionnaires by email or text. The questionnaires take 20-30 minutes to complete. If you didn’t get a chance to fill this out, we’ll be asking you and your parent/caregiver to complete this on an IPad while you are in the waiting room. If you have questions, please speak with Reception. If you have lost the link, call us at (905) 521-2100, x. 77621 and we will resend the email.

At the Regional Outpatient clinic at McMaster Children’s Hospital:

When you arrive, please check in with the business clerk on Level 3 Red. The business clerk will tell a member of our team that you have arrived for your child’s appointment and ask you to fill out some forms if this is your first visit. The information you provide will help the team understand your concerns.

At Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC):

We wanted to help you to understand what to expect for your first visit to the Child and Youth Mental Health Program. We look forward to meeting you or, you and your family.

During COVID, we are offering on site visits AND virtual care. You will be offered a choice for your first visit.

In-person at RJCHC

First, you will be greeted by COVID screening staff who are right inside the front doors. They’ll ask you a few questions to ensure you have no COVID symptoms, ask you to sanitize your hands and give you with a mask to put on and you’ll be on your way.

After screening please check in on the 1st floor at the Central Registration (CRS) desk just ahead on your right.

Then, take the elevator to the 3rd floor- Our Receptionist will welcome you and make sure you are in the right place.

When it is time for your appointment, your care provider will come to get you.

During COVID, we might have your appointment in a different location such as in our garden or in a room that is larger so we can physically distance.

Virtual Care (for both Regional Outpatient Clinic and RJCHC)

We will send you instructions about access to virtual care.

What to Bring

  1. Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) Card (not needed for virtual care)
  2. A list of medication– current medication and dosage, as well as past medication, reasons for stopping medications (if applicable), and information about any vitamins or supplements you are taking. Note that you can request this list free of charge from your pharmacy
  3. Any previous documentation of assessments or testing results from mental health treatment in the past you think might be helpful to us. This might include questionnaires or assessments you completed with a family doctor or at school.

Who will provide your care

Our Approach to Care

Compassion and caring is at the core of the services we provide to children, youth and parents/caregivers/families. We will work together with you to ensure you feel comfortable in care and establish a care plan with you that is suitable to your needs.
Recommendations for your care plan will be shared with the person who referred you- typically your family doctor or pediatrician.

Your psychiatrist will:

• meet with you/your child to learn about the difficulties that you are having. If you have family members with you, you can decide to let them take part in discussions.
• help everyone reach an understanding of you/your child’s difficulties.
• make recommendations to best suit you/your child’s needs.

As we are a teaching hospital, medical residents and students in health professions may also be involved in you/your child’s care.

How to make and cancel appointments

If you need to make, change or cancel an appointment, please call our RJCHC Centralized Registration and Scheduling Desk (CRS) at 905-521-2100 ext. 44446 and they will help you.

We are mindful of life’s uncertainties.

If you are experiencing challenges with attending a scheduled appointment and need to cancel or change your appointment, we ask that you please let us know as soon as you are able to and to please let us know how we can help. We ask that whenever you can, that you give us 24-48 hours’ notice.

We do our best to provide an appointment time that is convenient. Please understand that there are many requests for an ‘afterschool’ time and we do our best to ‘share’ these preferred appointment times.

How the privacy of your information is protected

Who will be involved in the care?

We take your privacy very seriously. We protect the privacy of your personal information, and we ask you for consent before we share your information with others. In some cases, someone else may be able to provide consent on your behalf. This will be discussed further during your first visit as we know you may have questions. We will discuss situations when you have the right to keep your information private from anyone you choose, including family members. We will also discuss situations when others might be able to access your information.

We also want caregivers to feel comfortable to share information. This information will be kept within your care team, unless we ask for further consent to share it.

There are times when privacy can’t be maintained due to safety.

Reasons for this:

  1. If a child under the age of 16 is being hurt or abused, or at risk of being hurt or abused
  2. If anyone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or someone else
  3. If a regulated health professional is or has been sexually inappropriate with someone
  4. If our documents were to be asked for by a court of law

How we approach service Improvement & Research

During services, we will ask you to complete short questionnaires about how you are doing. This information helps us keep track of how things are going during service and work out how best to support you.

Using information to improve services

Sometimes, we group your data together with data from other youth and families to look at how well our services are doing overall. When the data is grouped, any identifying information (name, address, date of birth) is removed so no-one can tell whose data it is. Your information helps us to improve our services and respond better to the need of children, youth and families in our community.


Research is an important part of the work we do. Through research we can learn more about the experiences of children, youth and families and how best to help. We will ask you whether you and your family would like to be involved in current or future research. You can decide whether or not to take part in research. Your decision will not impact your care in any way.