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Concurrent disorders treatment resumes
Concurrent Disorders treatment resumes for inpatients on the Georgianwood program

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the goal around the world was to keep
Anissa Borneman 
Anissa Borneman
Director, Georgianwood Program
for Concurrent Disorders
and Brébeuf Program for
Regional Forensics 
everyone safe. Businesses were shutdown, schools went virtual, and masks became everyday practice. 

Like all hospitals, Waypoint was on the front lines of the pandemic. We augmented infection prevention and control measures, added additional cleaning, and quickly opened an isolation unit for all new admissions and to treat symptomatic or COVID positive patients. Physical distancing was an important tool in keeping people safe and we had to get creative on our units to accomplish this. 

Making room for patients meant we had put a pause on some programs, including the voluntary Georgianwood Concurrent Disorders Program. Patients who were in hospital at the time were discharged and went home to their own communities, but their connection with Waypoint didn't end.  

While the Georgianwood clinicians began to provide treatment and care for an entirely different group of patients, they also supported the Georgianwood patients through their journey.

These clinicians kept patients up-to-date on the COVID situation at the hospital and pivoted to provide virtual, evidence-based treatments to individuals who were experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness and substance use.

Quote from Anissa BornemanThis has been the case for nearly two years, however with hospitals now ramping up services that were put on hold, Waypoint is pleased to share that inpatient treatment for concurrent disorders has now resumed.

Patients are once again able to access the evidence-based residential treatment program that provides care to patients experiencing both a mental health problem and a substance use problem at the same time. And while inpatient treatment has resumed, the virtual program will continue for those who need it, allowing patients the opportunity to access specialized services from their home, while still being able to maintain their everyday commitments. 

“COVID-19 showed how using technology could facilitate how we provide mental health services in general, and concurrent disorders services specifically,” said Anissa Borneman, Director, Georgianwood Program for Concurrent Disorders and Brébeuf Program for Regional Forensics. "We were able to provide some care and treatment when inpatient treatment wasn’t possible.”

The virtual program offers access to six to 18 weeks of specialized treatment depending on the patient needs, and the opportunity for up to three therapeutic sessions with a skilled clinician each week. 

Ms. Borneman adds “the virtual setting still works best for some people who have other life commitments that would prevent them from accessing an inpatient program.”

One of the new tools available to those seeking addictions care is Breaking Free Online. The program, available for Ontarians 16 and up, is a free, safe, and confidential tool that can help individuals looking to reduce or stop their use of substances. The tool can also assist with prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation, and is available 24/7 in both English and French.

Breaking Free Online is available for clients to use on their own (through self-referral) or under the supervision of their clinician as part of an ongoing addiction recovery program.  

The government of Ontario launched Breaking Free Online as part its commitment to fully support Ontarians in their journey to mental wellness. Adoption of Breaking Free Online by Waypoint and other mental health and addictions agencies across the province is being done in collaboration with the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence at Ontario Health.  

For more information on the Georgianwood Program and others, including referrals to Waypoint, please visit our Referrals page or call Waypoint Central Intake at 705-549-3181, ext. 2308. If you are interested in using Breaking Free Online to help with your recovery journey, speak with a member of your care team or visit to register and get free access to programming and resources.