CMHA Ontario responds to provincial mental health strategy reports
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario recently submitted a paper to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care regarding the findings and recommendations contained in the reports of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care’s Advisory Group (MAG) and the Select Committee of the Legislature on Mental Health and Addictions. The CMHA paper builds on the foundation of the two reports, identifying the consensus between the reports, the differences, and the issues that are not addressed in either report.
Both the Select Committee and MAG reports call on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to develop a mental health and addiction strategy that is person-centred and uses a whole-of-government approach. Similarities between the reports were also noted across jurisdictions, including the importance of addressing diversity and discrimination, and enhancing research. While the consumer role is addressed in both papers, consumer/survivor initiatives (CSIs) are not. In its advice to the MOHLTC, CMHA Ontario recommends that the CSI Builder Report, prepared by members of the consumer/survivor community in Ontario, be consulted to help build capacity and ensure CSIs remain an element of the mental health system.
Although investments in building system capacity are identified as necessary in the government documents, neither paper offers a specific dollar figure. CMHA Ontario recommends that the province develop and implement a multi-year investment strategy to bring expertise in the system into alignment with international leaders.
Planning, system integration and leadership are also major focuses of the Select Committee and MAG reports. CMHA Ontario extends this discussion by acknowledging the need for effective leadership but also considers the historical context of issues regarding provincial leadership in mental health and addictions. In addition to this analysis, CMHA Ontario proposes five specific leadership models for the MOHLTC to consider during its decision-making process.
See “Advice to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care: Developing a 10-Year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy for Ontario. Analysis of the Reports of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care’s Advisory Group and the Select Committee of the Legislature on Mental Health and Addictions,” CMHA Ontario, February 2011, available at www.ontario.cmha.ca/submissions.
See “Respect, Recovery, Resilience: Recommendations for Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy,” Minister’s Advisory Group on Mental Health and Addictions, December 2010, available at www.health.gov.on.ca. See also, “Final Report: Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Ontarians,” 2nd Session, 39th Parliament, Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions, August 2010, available at www.ontla.on.ca.
See also, “Consumer Survivor Initiatives in Ontario: Building for an Equitable Future,” June 2009, available at opdi.org.