Forensic Mental Health

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Forensic Program serves adult individuals who come into conflict with the law and who may have a psychiatric disorder. The program provides both inpatient and outpatient services to the area of Northwestern Ontario from the Manitoba border to White River.

Inpatient Services

The Forensic Mental Health Inpatient Unit provides extensive assessment, treatment and rehabilitation services. Specific treatment plans are developed to meet individual patient needs, which may include individual or group therapy that involves various clinical programming. The inter-professional team includes members from the following services:

  • Psychiatry
  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Leisure Life Skills (Recreational Therapy)
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Spiritual Care

Visitor Information and Restrictions

The Forensic Mental Health Program believes that visits are therapeutic and contribute to the well-being of patients. Visits also allow family and friends to familiarize themselves with the programs provided to their loved one. The following information provides an explanation of the Visiting Policy.

Visiting hours are from 2 pm to 5 pm; 6pm to 7pm; and 8 pm to 8:30 pm daily.

  • All visits must be pre-arranged by phoning the Forensic Inpatient Unit at (807) 684-6450
  • All visits are for up to an hour at a time (with the exception of the 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. time slot)
  • Up to three visitors are allowed at a time
  • All visits are monitored by a video camera by security
  • Visitors will be expected to place jackets, bags and purses in a locker at the entrance of the unit before each visit
  • Visits by children 16 years of age and under must be approved in advance by the psychiatrist; and children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult other than the patient during the entire visit
  • Patients have the right to refuse visits, and when this occurs, the decision of the patient is respected
  • A visit may be cancelled or postponed at any time based on the patient’s current mental status in the interest of their safety and well-being
  • Visitors who demonstrate inappropriate behaviour of any kind (i.e. aggression) or who do not follow these guidelines will not be allowed to visit
  • No pets are allowed to visit
  • Furniture in the visitor’s room is not to be rearranged
  • Due to limited storage space, personal belongings brought for the patient should be kept to a minimum
  • All parcels and gifts that are brought for clients will be searched by staff members ensure the safety of all patients
  • No food or beverages are allowed to be brought in for patients


Outpatient Services

Forensic Outpatient services are provided both in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Individual follow-up is provided according to identified client needs and/or legal requirements. Assessment, treatment, and on-going rehabilitation services are provided for a designated forensic population. The Forensic Outpatient Program works closely with all relevant community agencies associated with the client, and provides referrals to any agency that may be able to provide support to the client.

The Northwestern Ontario Sexual Behaviours Program (NOSBP) provides comprehensive assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation services, including individual and group therapy, to address problematic sexual behaviour issues. Referrals to this program are received by Probation and Parole, Children’s Aid Society, Correctional Services, and by primary care providers including family physicians.

Mental Health Court Support services are offered at the Ontario Provincial Courthouse. A designated Court support worker provides consultation and liaison to various officers of the Court, such as the Judiciary, Crown Attorneys, lawyers, police, and Probation and Parole.

The Brief Assessment Unit performs court ordered assessments of individuals who may be either in custody at a correctional facility or in the community.