New three-year agreements between Ontario’s community mental health and addictions programs and Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are more reflective of the working realities of mental health service providers. The improvements are thanks to work by CMHA Ontario and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO).
What is an M-SAA?
According to the LHIN Collaborative the M-SAA is a comprehensive template document that:
- Brings all of the various contractual obligations between community Health Service Providers and the LHINs into one document.
- Is legislatively required under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006.
- Provides a tool to clearly define accountabilities for funding and service performance expectations of HSPs.
Starting last spring, AMHO and CMHA Ontario consulted widely with mental health and addiction experts throughout the province to help inform the development of the new Multi-Sector Service Accountability Agreement (M-SAA) for 2014-2017.
Subsequently, the Mental Health and Addiction (MHA) M-SAA Working Group was formed consisting of Executive Directors/Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Clinical Managers, and Data Experts from small to large mental health and addictions programs with representation from every LHIN.
The Working Group became a forum for dialogue, consultation and feedback that was instrumental in developing a clear understanding of the new M-SAA requirements for the mental health and addictions sector.
The Working Group regularly engaged the LHINs leadership by providing recommendations that addressed concerns raised by the sector related to previous M-SAAs. These recommendations related to performance indicators, definitions and targets, and variability in administering M-SAAs across Ontario.
The Working Group will continue evaluating the new M-SAA and provide a forum for dialogue and feedback from the mental health and addictions sector, putting it in good position to make recommendations on enhancing future M-SAAs.