CMHA Ontario and CMHA branches participated in the 2015 Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference, Mobilizing Community: Promoting Resiliency, Sustaining Recovery and Resorting Justice, held in Toronto from Nov. 16 to 18. The conference was attended by more than 400 individuals from across multiple sectors including community mental health and addictions, developmental disabilities, police services, corrections, courts, legal clinics and five Ministries. Every two years, the Provincial HSJCC hosts a three-day conference where individuals with an interest in improving coordination between human services and the justice system come together to share information on the current state, issues and promising practises with the intersections of these two sectors in Ontario. A strong emphasis is placed on discussing gaps and addressing mental health needs for justice involved clients.
CMHA Ontario presented three concurrent sessions at the HSJCC Conference. All sessions provided by CMHA Ontario were well attended with more than 90 people registered for each session discussed below.
Seble Makonnen, Policy Analyst, CMHA Ontario provided a presentation on Navigating the Criminal Justice & Mental Health Systems (presented with the Provincial HSJCC), which provided an overview and outlined the applications for the Adult Criminal Justice & Mental Health System Map, a project supported by the HSJCC Network.
CMHA Ontario’s Director of Public Policy, Uppala Chandrasekera, provided two presentations: Factors Influencing Mental Health and Criminal Justice Involvement: Bridging the Gap between Two Sectors by Addressing the Social Determinants of Health (presented with CMHA Toronto, Legal Aid Ontario and the Provincial HSJCC); and “What you need to ask me:” New tools and training to enhance Mental Health Legal Advocacy (presented with Legal Aid Ontario) focused on a partnership project with Legal Aid Ontario looking at developing resources for lawyers in Ontario to better meet the needs of clients will mental illness.
CMHA branches within Ontario also played a huge role in planning and presenting at the 2015 HSJCC conference. Four branches participated in the HSJCC conference planning committee and nine branches participated through delivering presentations: CMHA Champlain East, CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin, CMHA Waterloo Wellington Dufferin, CMHA Oxford, CMHA Lambton Kent, CMHA Nipissing, CMHA Timmins, CMHA York Region and CMHA Toronto.
Some examples of concurrent sessions provided by CMHA branches included:
- Discharge from Court Protocol (CMHA Champlain East with the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre)
- Specialized Crisis Team: Psychiatric Assistance at Police Incident (CMHA Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and the Waterloo Regional Police Service)
- Addressing Compassion Fatigue (CMHA Oxford)
- Mental Health Diversion Program (CMHA Lambton Kent)
The Provincial HSJCC will be releasing a newsletter next week that will have highlights on
key notes, concurrent session and outcomes of the fifth biennial Provincial HSJCC conference.
To receive the HSJCC newsletter and learn more about the 2015 HSJCC Conference, Mobilizing Community: Promoting Resiliency, Sustaining Recovery and Resorting Justice, please visit the HSJCC website and click on the “Sign-up for Newsletter Alerts” link on the right hand side of the landing page.