A new report developed by the Consumer Services Advisory Committee of Canadian Mental Health Association, Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch (CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch) identifies consumer survivor initiatives (CSIs) as the gateway to other health and social services. This position was stated in a report to the North East Local Health Integrated Network (NE LHIN) that detailed the future direction proposed for CSIs in this region of Ontario.
The report emerged in response to the shut down and transfer of Peer Support Services of Sudbury (PSOS), one of two CSIs in the North East. The money and services formerly provided by PSOS were transferred to CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch in November 2010 until a long-term plan could be developed and approved by the NE LHIN. CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch contracted with the Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA) for consumer services in the downtown core. A detailed history of the CSI integration was provided in the report.
The report, conceptualizing CSIs as a gateway to recovery-based services, was a result of extensive and inclusive community consultations conducted by CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch. This position, and proposed directions, aligns with CMHA’s vision, values, principles, and understanding of peer support.
Recommendations for the future of CSIs were also listed and included a transfer of funds to NISA, with CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch continuing to act as paymaster. Funds for a warm line were also recommended for transfer to NISA over a six month period and they would continue to run all programs based on their agency’s mandate and philosophy. NISA would also conduct service evaluations. Location and governance issues were also proposed in the recommendations.
The NE LHIN has approved the report’s recommendations and provided additional funds to develop a business case for capital investments.
A copy of “A Report on the future direction of consumer/survivor initiatives in the Sudbury-Manitoulin District,” will soon be available atwww.cmha-sm.on.ca.