In 2008, pilot testing of the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) decision-making tool began in the community mental health sector in Ontario with the aim of standardizing, enhancing, and improving the efficacy of the client assessment process. The pilot implementation has since expanded across the province, led by the Community Care Information Management project (CCIM).
The Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) Steering Committee has reviewed the functional centres using Core OCAN. Core OCAN is a standalone subset of the assessment tool; it captures information on consumers and their support services. After the review, the decision was made to concentrate available resources on rolling out OCAN in the 15 functional centres best suited to the assessment tool and the centres.
The former Ontario Health Quality Council and five other health care improvement organizations have been consolidated into one organization called Health Quality Ontario (HQO). The other organizations included in the merger are the:
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.