Considering MHSU Assisted Living

Mental health and substance use (MHSU) assisted living refers to mental health and supportive recovery residences that are registered with the Assisted Living Registry. MHSU registered residences must follow provincial health and safety standards as well as the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Regulation.

Registered mental health and supportive recovery residences provide housing, hospitality and prescribed services:

Housing: A residence may be a private home or may be part of a building with other types of services that are not registered as assisted living, such as emergency shelters or transition homes. There will be a private or shared bedroom and bathroom. All residences include common dining and living areas where people can eat together and socialize.

Five hospitality services:

  • meals: meals are provided, or the operator assists residents  to safely prepare nutritious meals;
  • housekeeping: residents are provided equipment and assistance to clean their rooms and communal living areas;
  • laundry: laundry equipment is provided and residents are assisted to do their laundry;
  • social and recreational opportunities: social and recreational activities are provided and residents are assisted to access activities in the community; and
  • a 24-hour emergency response system: provides residents with the ability to summon emergency assistance 24 hours a day (the system may be a house phone).

One or two prescribed services such as:

  • central storage of medication, distribution of medication, administering or monitoring the taking of medication;
  • management of cash or other property of a resident;
  • structured behaviour management and intervention; and
  • psychosocial supports, such as recovery programming.

Other prescribed services such as regular assistance with activities of daily living, and monitoring of food intake / adherence to therapeutic diets are not typically offered in mental health and supportive recovery residences.

Some operators may provide additional hospitality services, such as escorts to doctor’s appointments, counseling sessions or recovery meetings. Some operators may provide space or staffing for supervised visits with children. For more information about what services are offered contact the operator directly.

Who Is Assisted Living For?

MHSU assisted living is intended for adults who:

  • have the ability to make the range of decisions that will allow them to live safely in a semi-independent housing environment. For example, individuals who are capable of following emergency procedures in the event of a fire.
  • are able to make an informed decision to enter the residence and continue to be able to make decisions while in the residence. For example, individuals who are able to provide informed consent to participate in the residence recovery program.

What to Know

Before an individual moves into an MHSU assisted living residence, he/she should find out:

  • what services are offered;
  • how often services are provided (e.g., will you get one, two or three meals per day);
  • what the expectations are for participation in the services and programs;
  • what the house rules are;
  • who will be providing the service;
  • how much it will cost; and
  • any extra charges that may be incurred (e.g. for particular recreational activities or programs).

Prospective residents may also wish to ask about things such as “Will I have to share a room?” or “Can my room be searched?” or “Can I have visitors?” Assisted living residences are not covered under the Residential Tenancy Act and tenancy concerns are not within the jurisdiction of the assisted living registry, therefore residents are encouraged to keep a copy of their signed tenancy agreement with the operator for future reference. For more information about information to find out before entering a mental health or supportive recovery residence, please see: