Waypoint establishes Research Chair in Forensic Mental Health Science
Waypoint establishes Research Chair in Forensic Mental Health Science
Posted on 06/15/2020
Waypoint establishes Research Chair in Forensic Mental Health Science

Forensic mental health is one of the most misunderstood components of the health care system but also a discipline where there is the greatest potential to make a positive impact. As the province’s only high-secure forensic mental health program, Waypoint has a mandate to advance research in this area to create the best possible outcomes for patients.  
 
“Thanks to the commitment of the hospital, the Waypoint Board of Directors and in partnership with the University of Toronto, we are creating one of Canada’s first Research Chairs in Forensic Mental Health Science,” says Dr. Nathan Kolla, Waypoint Vice-President of Research and Academics. “This work will build on the rich legacy of forensic research at the hospital and will put Waypoint at the forefront of leading research efforts in forensic mental health science. Indeed, this Chair will be one of a handful in the world that will be dedicated to the study and research of forensic mental health science.” 
 
Forensic mental health care has been an integral part of Waypoint’s hospital services since the 1930’s. Forensic mental health services are often confused with corrections, which can confer a “double stigma” of mental illness and justice system involvement. Forensic services treat patients who have been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder. These individuals have major psychiatric illness that is no different from non-forensic patients in the hospital and community.  
 
The creation of this position, in collaboration with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, is the first step in the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Forensic Mental Health Research, a strategic priority for the hospital to help shed more light on how to improve services for better patient outcomes of forensic psychiatric patients. “Forensic mental health is in the midst of fundamental and important changes. This new Chair and the work at Waypoint will play a major role to advance this important area of psychiatry” says Dr. Benoit H. Mulsant, the Labatt Family Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. 
 
“Under the strategic direction Discover, we have made the promise to embrace education, advance research and seek, generate and apply best practice and new knowledge,” says Carol Lambie, Waypoint President and CEO. “We are fortunate to have an expert scientific team in the Waypoint Research Institute and furthering our research in forensic mental health science will support our promise to advance understanding and improve lives.” 
 
The hospital is aiming to recruit a Chair who is already an international leader in the field of forensic mental health sciences and who will further advance the already robust forensic research taking place at Waypoint. Recruitment planning is underway and the successful candidate is expected to be announced early in the fall.