Message from Division Lead, Heather McNeely
The Division of Schizophrenia is based at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s West 5th Campus within the Schizophrenia and Community Integration Service, the largest of the mental health and addictions programs. Our division is comprised of a diverse group of faculty members involved in clinical service delivery, teaching/training and research, including psychiatrists, psychologists, basic scientists and other allied health professionals. A variety of clinical and research training opportunities are available, ranging from undergraduate to fellowship level, and our division also provides continuing professional development opportunities for members of the division and the broader community.
Medical faculty in the Division of Schizophrenia are involved in training of learners from clerkship to fellowship. Interprofessional faculty and staff in the division are involved in training and supervision of learners across the allied health professions including nursing, social work, occupational therapy, recreation therapy, pharmacy, and psychology. Graduate students from McMaster University’s Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour are also involved in programs of research within the division, and in collaboration with faculty and learners in other divisions. Areas of research focus include, but are not limited to, studies aimed at elucidating the cognitive, neurobiological and social cognitive mechanisms underlying the illness, and studies aimed at improving functional outcomes and enhancing recovery.
The focus of the division is to support people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders to regain and manage their health, and live hopeful, meaningful lives. We seek to foster this through compassionate, innovative, specialized mental health and addiction services, training in the provision of evidence based care, and research aimed better understanding the nature of the illness and enhancing outcomes.
Many members of the Division of Schizophrenia hold key education leadership positions within training programs affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, or hold leadership or advisory positions with provincial and national professional organizations, such as Ontario Health, the Schizophrenia Society of Canada and the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Members of the division also participate in continuing education initiatives through the department, including giving lectures and presentations at departmental rounds and the annual review course in psychiatry.
The highlight of the Division of Schizophrenia continuing education program is the annual Jock Cleghorn Memorial Lecture in Schizophrenia. Each year, a guest speaker is invited to deliver the keynote address as part of departmental rounds, followed by a workshop or other educational event available to faculty and learners.
Division of Schizophrenia members hold clinical positions and supervise trainees in various hospital and community settings. The West 5th Campus is home to three, 24-bed specialized inpatient units, the Cleghorn early intervention clinic, the transitional outpatient support service, the schizophrenia outpatient clinic, and the developmental dual diagnosis clinic. Clinical training also takes place at the Hamilton program for schizophrenia, a community-based outpatient clinic located in downtown Hamilton, and through four regional assertive community treatment teams.
The schizophrenia and community integration service administration and clinical faculty are involved in a Health Quality Ontario schizophrenia standards spread initiative. This is an Ontario-wide collaborative led by Ontario Shores to systematically implement and evaluate measurement-based care focused currently on four of the Health Quality Ontario standards of care for adults with schizophrenia, including two medication interventions (treatment with clozapine and long-acting injectable medication) and two psychosocial interventions (cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis and family intervention therapy).
A number of members of the Division of Schizophrenia are actively involved in research, with programs of research ranging from externally funded neuroimaging studies and clinical trials to internally funded investigator initiated clinically applied programs of research. Division members involved in research often collaborate with faculty in other departmental divisions or are members of research centres affiliated with McMaster University, including the newly-formed Centre for Clinical Neuroscience, an innovative partnership between McMaster and the Pasteur Institute in France. Graduate students from McMaster’s Neuroscience Graduate Program and from the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour are also involved in programs of research within the division.
Areas of research include, but are not limited to, studies aimed at elucidating the cognitive, neurobiological and social cognitive mechanisms underlying schizophrenia or psychotic spectrum disorders, and studies aimed at improving functional outcomes and enhancing recovery.
We invite you to learn more about the Division of Schizophrenia and the opportunities that are available at McMaster University. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.