Pat Capponi, a psychiatric survivor and prominent advocate for the rights of persons with mental illness, has been appointed to Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board. The Board is an independent panel established by the provincial government to conduct hearings on a person’s capacity to consent to or refuse treatment, and determine whether Ontarians receiving psychiatric treatment are capable of living outside an institution without endangering themselves or others. The Board consists of 131 members: 45 lawyers, 44 psychiatrists and 42 members of the public.
The South East Local Health Integrated Network (SE LHIN) has launched a new region-wide Community Engagement process (CEP). This will enable residents across southeastern Ontario to have their say in how they receive health care through the SE LHIN’s Clinical Services Roadmap initiative (CSRI).
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario) responded to Ontario’s Bill 140, Housing Services Act 2010 with a submission to the Standing Committee on Social Justice. The recently proposed Housing Services Act, 2010 replaces the Social Housing Reform Act, 2000 and is intended to enhance housing services to social housing tenants.
The Ontario government has approved the use of drug dispensing machines for rollout across the province, after a successful pilot project at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The remote dispensing machines will allow for 24/7 access to pharmacy services, thereby increasing access for people living in remote and rural areas of Ontario.
The 2011 Ontario Budget was announced in the Legislature on March 29th, 2011. A number of budgetary items are relevant to mental health and addictions:
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario has referred Bill 140, Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011 to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, upon passing second reading in the house.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is recruiting two people to join its board of directors in September 2011. The MHCC is a non-profit organization created to increase national attention to mental health issues and to improve the lives and outcomes of people living with mental illnesses. The MHCC works collaboratively with stakeholders to change Canadian attitudes about mental health, improve services and supports, and help bring about an integrated national mental health system that is centred on mental health consumer/survivors.
The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO) and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario) are calling on mental health stakeholders to participate in the public review of the proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation (IAR) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) to ensure that the accessibility needs of mental health consumer/survivors are addressed. The deadline for submissions is March 18, 2011.
Organizations have until March 1 to submit letters of interest for the provincial government’s EnAbling Change Partnership Program. The program, administered by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), provides funding to organizations with vision, leadership and commitment to promoting greater accessibility across industries and sectors.
Participants are being sought for a formative evaluation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The evaluation, which will include focus groups and key informant interviews in addition to the survey, will assess the MHCC’s early achievements in relation to its five key strategies, effectiveness and impact. The process is required by the MHCC’s funding agreement with Health Canada.