The Planning Context
This strategic plan is the outcome of a planning process undertaken by CMHA Ontario over the period December 2009 to July 2010. The process included a review of the results achieved in implementing our previous three-year strategic plan, an assessment of the working environment (locally, nationally and internationally), and a series of consultations with key internal and external stakeholders to seek their advice and perspectives. As CMHA, Ontario’s planning and operational continuously evolve as an organization, the strategic plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure its continued relevancy.
In Ontario and elsewhere, there is a fundamental shift occurring in how both governments and the public view mental health and mental illness. This is leading to a change in focus from service provision for those with a serious mental illness to a more embracing paradigm of mental health for all. In Ontario we are also seeing an increased emphasis on building a continuum of care that is better coordinated to address an individual’s mental health and/or addictions service needs.
Addressing mental illness and promoting mental health is complex and multi-faceted. Actions at the policy, program and service delivery levels must be coordinated across ministries and levels of government in what is often referred to as a ‘whole of government approach’.
CMHA’s long standing belief that there is no health without mental health is congruent with the emerging Ontario government’s vision for addressing mental health and addictions. This provides considerable scope and opportunity for CMHA Ontario to actively contribute to the implementation of the Ggovernment’s new 10-year mental health and addiction strategy.
The realities of mental illness are out of the shadows at last. Through the efforts of many dedicated organizations and individuals, the true impacts of mental illness and poor mental health have been brought to the fore. Meeting these needs has lagged behind actions in addressing physical health services in almost every dimension – funding, service capacity, policy, research and evaluation to name a few. In setting its strategic planning priorities for 2010-2013, CMHA, Ontario is looking to utilize its resources – financial, human and communication – to leverage maximum impact for system improvement.
In Ontario, the resources available for enhancing policy, planning, evaluation and information exchange are limited. CMHA, Ontario is well positioned to lead in areas requiring multi-sectoral integration and bridging the shifting mental health and mental illness paradigm, and in moving from strategy to action. It is on this foundation that CMHA, Ontario has developed four strategic priorities for 2010-2013.