Mental Health Team - Niagara North Family Health Team

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Mental Health Team

The Mental Health Team works as part of the Niagara North Family Health Team to offer support and guidance to our patients, and sees patients in groups or in individual counselling sessions. Together, they will assist in developing a plan of care that will lead to a better understanding and effective change.

Twenty percent of Canadians will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives. Mental health problems affect relationships, work, and quality of life. Common reasons to see a mental health professional include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress management
  • Alcohol and drug problems
  • Grief
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health issues

Social Work

Social workers in primary healthcare settings are able to provide a wide variety of services within a multidisciplinary team setting. In the initial appointments an assessments of biopsychosocial and mental health problems will be completed. This will take into account a wide variety of individual, family and environmental factors. Follow up sessions may entail counseling or referrals to an appropriate community resource to address the presenting problems.

There are two other important direct roles for social workers. One is case management to ensure adequate follow-up in the community. The second is advocacy on behalf of patients when there is difficulty in accessing services. Social workers have special training and experience in working with vulnerable populations such as at risk youth, victims of domestic violence and low-income individuals/families.

In a multidisciplinary setting social workers are available for consultation to other healthcare providers. This could simply be providing information about community resources and providing specific information regarding an issue (such as substance abuse, domestic violence and housing) that a patient or family is experiencing.

For more information about social workers, please visit the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers website or the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW)


Joan Graham, Mental Health Nurse

Amanda Oosterveer, Mental Health Counsellor

James McQueen, Social Worker

Dr. Ken Santher, Psychiatrist

St. Catharines

Dr. Mohammed Warsi
Dr. Mohammed Warsi, Psychiatrist

Debbie Good, Social Worker
Debbie Good, Social Worker

Yvonne VanLankveld, Mental Health RN
Yvonne VanLankveld, Mental Health Nurse

Len Dykstra, Social Worker

How Can You Access the Services of our Mental Health Team?

Patients can obtain a referral from their family physician at any time in order to see our Mental Health Team.

If this is an Emergency…

In the case of a Mental Health emergency, there are some resources in the Niagara Area:

  • COAST Niagara – Crisis Outreach and Support Team 1-800-263-4944
  • In the event of a life threatening emergency, please call 911

Our Mental Health Team also offers an Anxiety (CBT) Group, a Craving Change Group and a Smoking Cessation Program