CMHA Ontario is pleased to continue its collaboration with the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) to launch a new phase of work for a Community of Interest (CoI) on Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions. EENet launched the CoI initiative in 2012 to advance the priorities identified in its agenda-setting report, Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario. These Cois bring together people and organizations that share a common interest to develop and spread new knowledge to improve understanding and action on a specific mental health and addictions issue.
Led by CMHA Ontario, the Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions Community of Interest is a provincial forum for knowledge exchange and collaborative knowledge creation focused on issues related to racialized populations and mental health and addictions. The goal of the CoI is to strategically leverage existing or emerging evidence (including community-based, lived experience, peer-reviewed academic, and other sources of knowledge) to improve provincial, LHIN, and provider policy, planning, and practice related to racialized populations and mental health and addictions.
CMHA Ontario partners include Across Boundaries: An Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre; Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Evidence Exchange Network; Fred Victor; Ontario Peer Development Initiative; Wellesley Institute; Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre; and Working for Change.
This COI began working together in 2012, with a project exploring how racialized individuals and communities in Ontario use hospital emergency departments for mental health and addictions related reasons. In 2014, the COI began to explore another dimension of the mental health system that impacts significantly on how racialized populations receive services: socio-demographic data collection via the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN). OCAN was identified as a focus because it is the only tool that consistently collects information about racialization in the community mental health system, and held a think tank in 2015 to explore the potential of the tool for advancing equity in the mental health system. Currently, the COI is winding down the OCAN initiative and going through a planning process to identify its new priority.
To learn more, contact Sheela Subramanian, CMHA Ontario policy analyst, at email@example.com.