Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral?

Yes, referrals are required for both the non-urgent and urgent Adult Mental Health Program streams.

  • The non-urgent stream requires a referral from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. If you do not have a family physician, we accept referrals from walk-in clinics.

  • Referrals from the urgent stream are ONLY accepted internally from the KGH Emergency Department, HDH Urgent Care Centre, Inpatient Mental Health & Addiction Program, and the Consult/Liaison Psychiatry Team.

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What happens after I am referred?

Once a non-urgent referral is received, the referring practitioner will receive correspondence either accepting the referral and advising of the current wait time or recommending alternate services that may better fit your needs.

Once we have accepted your referral, you will be placed on a waitlist for a telephone call from an intake nurse, which could take up to a year, dependant on the current referral volume.  At the time of intake call, you will either be given an appointment, or be placed on our waitlist for the next available appointment.

Once an urgent referral is received, you will be contacted by an intake nurse. We aim to contact patients referred from the Emergency Department or Inpatient Mental Health Unit within 72 hours, however this may take longer depending on when the referral was received, and whether we need to obtain collateral information.

At the time of intake call, you will either be given an appointment, be placed on our waitlist for the next available appointment or be advised that your case will be discussed during interdisciplinary rounds with an outcome to follow.

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What can I expect when referred through the urgent stream?

You can expect various outcomes, based on your referral and the intake information gathered:

  • You may be booked with psychiatry
  • You may be placed on a waitlist for a future appointment
  • You may be enrolled in group psychotherapy
  • We may recommend services that better meet your needs
  • Your referral may be closed owing to adequate services already in place for you
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What services are not provided?

The Adult Mental Health Program is unable to provide the following services:

  • Disability follow-up appointments as part of employment Insurance

  • Canada Pension Plan

  • Workplace Safety & insurance Board

  • Ontario Disability Support Program requirements

  • Independent Medical Evaluations for Court & Child Welfare Assessments

  • Forensics or Capacity Assessments.

The non-urgent stream does not offer counseling services, crisis services, or urgent appointments.

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How long will I be followed in the Adult Mental Health Program?

Length of treatment is patient-specific. Some patients have just one consult visit and some may have short-term follow-up. It is not within the program’s mandate or capacity to follow patients for a significant length of time. Our model always anticipates patient care will be resumed by a primary care provider.

The urgent stream is a brief intervention service.

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What areas do we serve?

The AMHP sees patients in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington area. If you reside outside of that area and have questions about what mental health agency is in your area, please contact our clinical intake coordinator at 613-544-3400 ext. 3700 or search the Connex Ontario website.

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What If I need medication refills?

If your psychiatrist starts you on a medication, they may prescribe it themselves or they may recommend your referring practitioner initiate the medication. Once you have been discharged from the AMHP, it will be the responsibility of your referring practitioner to continue prescribing the medication. Should you not have a family physician, we recommend attending a walk-in clinic to access refills.

We are unable to book patients for a psychiatric assessment solely for the purpose of providing medication refills.

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Will a health care learner be present during my appointment?

As part of KHSC, and in collaboration with Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College and other educational institutions we often have students and learners from across many disciplines participate in our various clinics.

  • Psychiatry residents (licensed medical doctor that is undergoing their psychiatry training)

  • Clinical fellows (a licensed psychiatrist who is training in a specialized psychiatric field)

In the Adult Mental Health program we have both international and Canadian doctors training in sub-specialty streams.

  • Clerk/Medical student present for your assessment. All psychiatric care will be provided under the supervision of AMHP Staff Psychiatrist, who you may or may not see in-person.

  • Allied Health care providers - Many of our allied health care providers also provide field placements or internships for several disciplines including nursing, occupational therapy, and social work which may involve learners working in the services being provided to you by our provided.

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What if I cannot attend my appointment?  Do you have a no-show policy? 

We have very high referral volume and a lengthy waitlist; therefore, it is important that you attend your appointments. However, if you must cancel, please notify us at least 24 hours prior, so that we can fill the vacant spot. If you cancel in advance, we will gladly rebook you, however, please be advised that you may have to wait several months.

A no-show for a new patient assessment will result in an automatic file closure, and a re-referral will be required to be seen again.

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What is a group session?

A group session allows people to learn new skills and hear from others who may have similar experiences dealing with mental health concerns. Participants may share their thoughts and feelings with others if they are comfortable.

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Will my appointment be in person or virtually?

Your appointment may occur in person or virtually.  This will be discussed during your telephone intake when your email address is collected by the intake nurse.  You will be provided an appointment notice letter with this information.

For a virtual appointment, the secretary will email you a link to attend. This link may not be sent until the day before your scheduled appointment and will provide clear instructions on how to proceed. Please note that you must use the internet browser Chrome for the virtual visit to be effective. 

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Are there other services/resources available?

Other resources can be found on the Community Resources page

Can a person die from C. difficile infection?

Yes, in severe cases of CDI, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from CDI.

What is Clostridium difficile Infection (or C. difficile)?

Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) is often abbreviated to C. difficile or C. diff for short.

C. difficile is a germ that can be found, on occasion, in people’s bowels. It does not always cause problems or symptoms but in some cases can. In some people who are also taking antibiotics, the germ can grow because the antibiotics kill off many of the “good” and harmless germs that normally prevent the C. difficile from growing to high numbers.

C. difficile makes a toxin that damages the fragile lining of the bowel causing inflammation and loose watery bowel movements (diarrhea) and inflammation.

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Where can I get more information about this and other Patient Safety Indicators?
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What can I do to protect myself from C. difficile?

It is not possible to prevent every case of C. difficile infection but each of us can protect ourselves and others by cleaning our hands often. Health-care providers in hospitals must clean their hands according the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s and hygiene guidelines. If you are receiving care in a hospital it is OK to ask anyone providing care to you if they have cleaned their hands. Cleaning your own hands after using the toilet, before you eat, after blowing your nose and any time they are dirty is a basic and important step to prevent the spread of all infections including C. difficile. Taking antibiotics only as needed and as prescribed by your doctor or nurse-practitioner (advanced practice nurse) and watching out for diarrhea are also important.

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Can a person die from C. difficile infection?

Yes, in severe cases of CDI, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from CDI.

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How is C. difficile diarrhea detected or diagnosed?

If CDI is suspected, a stool (bowel movement) sample is tested in a laboratory for the toxin it makes. The test takes several hours to perform and most hospitals do this test in their own laboratory. Those hospitals that do not do this test themselves will send the stool sample to another laboratory to do the test. Sometimes a doctor will look directly into the bowel with a special scope (called a sigmoidoscope or colonoscope) to detect abnormal changes in the lining of the bowel that mean that C. difficile is causing the diarrhea. 

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What is the treatment for C. difficile infection (CDI)?

If a person has diarrhea due to CDI, a doctor will prescribe a type of antibiotic that kills the C. difficile germs. The two most commonly used antibiotics to treat CDI are metronidazole and vancomycin.

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What precautions are used to prevent the spread of C. difficile in the hospital?

C. difficile can be spread from one person to another by contact, hand hygiene is critical to preventing its spread in a health-care setting.

If a patient is positive for C. difficile they are placed on Contact Precautions.

So what are Contact Precautions?

Contact Precautions aim to limit the spread of C. difficile to other patients and to health care providers. You may be placed in a private room or with other patients who are also carrying the bacteria. A sign may be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about these special Contact Precautions. Those caring for you as well as visitors will be asked to clean their hands, gown and glove before entering your room. Everyone who enters and leaves your room must clean their hands well. The room and equipment in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

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What are the symptoms?

If you get the C. difficile germ you most often do not develop any symptoms of diarrhea at all. People, particularly those taking antibiotics, may get diarrhea. The diarrhea can range from mild to severe with many bowel movements in a day and accompanied by abdominal pain and cramps.

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How does someone get C. difficile?

The C. difficile germ enters your body by ingestion of C. difficile spores. This is why cleaning your hands is so important to prevent picking up C. difficile and other germs. You can pick up the C. difficile germ anywhere, but the C. difficile germ is especially common in hospitals because hospitals have many people being given antibiotics. The chances of the C. difficile germ spreading from person to person is much higher in a hospital than it is in your own home, for example.

C. difficile is one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities, and has been a known cause of health-care associated diarrhea for about 30 years.

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Who is at risk of contracting C. difficile?

Healthy people are not usually susceptible to C. difficile. Seniors and people who have other illnesses or conditions being treated with antibiotics and those who take acid-suppressing stomach medications are at greater risk of an infection from C. difficile.

Can a person die from C. difficile infection?

Yes, in severe cases of CDI, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from CDI.

Can a person die from C. difficile infection?

Yes, in severe cases of CDI, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from CDI.

Can I cancel my surgery?

If for any reason you need to reschedule or cancel your surgery (you’re feeling sick, or you no  longer want to have the surgery), please call your surgeon’s office as soon as possible.

If you need to cancel or reschedule less than one week before your scheduled surgery date and you are unable to reach the surgeon's office, please call the KGH Operating Room at 613-548-7820.  

Can I have water labour or birth?

We support water labour for pain control and waterbirth in our unit. For more information visit our types of birthing page.

You can also read our brochure for more information. 

Can I take a photo of my documents or scan them and email them?

Yes! With the exception of your Criminal Record Check*, you are welcome to send photos or scans of your employee documents to @email.

Please note that KHSC requires original copies of your Criminal Record Check that are either submitted in physical form to the Total Rewards team on Watkins 4, or shared directly by the Police Department (using the ‘share’ function on their website).

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Can I take a photo of my documents or scan them and email them?

Yes! With the exception of your Criminal Record Check*, you are welcome to send photos or scans of your employee documents to @email.

Please note that KHSC requires original copies of your Criminal Record Check that are either submitted in physical form to the Total Rewards team on Watkins 4, or shared directly by the Police Department (using the ‘share’ function on their website).

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Can I take a photo of my documents or scan them and email them?

Yes! With the exception of your Criminal Record Check*, you are welcome to send photos or scans of your employee documents to @email.

Please note that KHSC requires original copies of your Criminal Record Check that are either submitted in physical form to the Total Rewards team on Watkins 4, or shared directly by the Police Department (using the ‘share’ function on their website).

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Can I use my phone to attend orientation?

Completing the Mandatory Employee Training and participating in the New Employee Welcome is extremely challenging from your phone.  As such, it is recommended that you attend orientation using a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Phones (either used for video attendance or conferencing) should only be used in emergency situations.

Can I use my phone to attend orientation?

Completing the Mandatory Employee Training and participating in the New Employee Welcome is extremely challenging from your phone.  As such, it is recommended that you attend orientation using a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Phones (either used for video attendance or conferencing) should only be used in emergency situations.

Can I use my phone to attend orientation?

Completing the Mandatory Employee Training and participating in the New Employee Welcome is extremely challenging from your phone.  As such, it is recommended that you attend orientation using a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Phones (either used for video attendance or conferencing) should only be used in emergency situations.

Can I visit my family member/friend who is in the hospital while I am on my break?

While we understand your desires to visit family and friends in order to offer them support, employees are currently being asked to adhere to the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions. This means that you are not able to visit family or friends unless you enter the facility as per the directives outlined in the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions Policy.  Additionally, you will need to re-screen yourself as an employee before returning to your work duties.

*Please note that you will need Google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

Can I visit my family member/friend who is in the hospital while I am on my break?

While we understand your desires to visit family and friends in order to offer them support, employees are currently being asked to adhere to the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions. This means that you are not able to visit family or friends unless you enter the facility as per the directives outlined in the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions Policy.  Additionally, you will need to re-screen yourself as an employee before returning to your work duties.

*Please note that you will need Google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

Can I visit my family member/friend who is in the hospital while I am on my break?

While we understand your desires to visit family and friends in order to offer them support, employees are currently being asked to adhere to the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions. This means that you are not able to visit family or friends unless you enter the facility as per the directives outlined in the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions Policy.  Additionally, you will need to re-screen yourself as an employee before returning to your work duties.

*Please note that you will need Google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

Can someone die from MRSA?

Most people do not die if they are infected with MRSA. However in severe cases of MRSA bacteremia, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from MRSA, once their health is restored.

Can someone die from MRSA?

Most people do not die if they are infected with MRSA. However in severe cases of MRSA bacteremia, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from MRSA, once their health is restored.

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What is the treatment for MRSA?

If a patient is carrying MRSA, generally no treatment is necessary, as the organism is not causing an illness and often will be cleared on its own when the person’s health is restored. If it is determined that the patient is infected (they have a blood infection, skin infection or wound infection etc.) then the patient will treated with the appropriate antibiotic as determined by a physician.

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How is MRSA found?

Swabs are performed when patients are admitted to the hospital and periodically for patients whom are at risk. The swabs are sent to the laboratory for analysis and if positive, the laboratory notifies infection prevention and control so that the patient can be placed on Contact Precautions.

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What Contact Precautions are used to limit the spread of MRSA?

Contact Precautions aim to limit the spread of MRSA to other patients and to health care providers. You may be placed in a private room or with other patients who are also carrying the bacteria. A sign may be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about these special contact precautions. Those caring for you as well as visitors will be asked to clean their hands, gown and glove before entering your room. Everyone who enters and leaves your room must clean their hands well. The room and equipment in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

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What precautions are used to prevent the spread of MRSA in the hospital?

Because MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, hand hygiene is critical to preventing its spread in a health-care setting. KGH actively conducts regular surveillance to find cases of MRSA infection and to identify carriers of MRSA. If a patient is positive for MRSA they are placed on Contact Precautions.

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How is MRSA spread?

MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the health care provider’s hands either from touching contaminated material from infected persons or from touching articles contaminated by a person carrying MRSA, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment for extended periods of time.

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Who is at risk of contracting MRSA?

Risk factors for MRSA infections include invasive procedures, prior treatment with antibiotics, prolonged hospital stay, stay in an intensive care or burn unit, surgical wound infection and close proximity to someone who is carrying MRSA. 

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What is a bacteremia?

A bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.

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What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?

Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally, Staphylococcus aureus is a  cause of human infection. When Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.

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Where can I get more information about this and other Patient Safety Indicators?
Can someone die from MRSA?

Most people do not die if they are infected with MRSA. However in severe cases of MRSA bacteremia, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from MRSA, once their health is restored.