A SYSTEM THAT MAKES SENSE
FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Moving on Mental Health is an important part of Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The plan is designed to help children, youth and families access mental health services in their communities that are responsive and meet their needs.
Strengthening the community-based system for delivering mental health services brings people and organizations closer together locally and benefits everyone. All children and youth with mental health problems in Ontario, and their families will know:
- What mental health services are available in their communities; and
- How to access the mental health services and supports that meet their needs.
To support children, youth and families across the province Lead Agencies undertake planning to support the effective delivery of core child and youth mental health services within the communities they represent and work with community partners across the broader continuum of child and youth mental health services and supports.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF MOVING ON MENTAL HEALTH?
The goal of MOMH is to deliver a coordinated, responsive system that:
- makes sense to parents and youth
- is easy to navigate
- enables fast answers and clear pathways to mental health services
- delivers early and appropriate help to each child and youth in need
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PHOENIX CENTRE?
The Ministry of Child and Youth Services (MCYS) has identified Lead Agencies within 33 service areas across Ontario. In December 2015, The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families was designated as the Lead Agency for Renfrew County and area.
The responsibilities of Lead Agencies fall into two broad categories:
DEFINING CORE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Lead Agencies will ensure that there are core mental health services available to communities within their service area, with other specialized services available regionally or provincially. Defining core services will make our system more transparent to parents and youth, as well as those who help families find the services they need.
CREATING AND SUPPORTING PATHWAYS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND SERVICES
Lead Agencies will help facilitate the development of clear and streamlined pathways to mental health services between primary care, schools, and community-based supports and services. This will help children and youth moving through and across the service system, knowing what to expect along the way. Sharing this responsibility across sectors will provide greater clarity about the roles of all those who help to support children and youth.
As a Lead Agency, the Phoenix Centre is responsible for analyzing, planning, funding, monitoring and evaluating mental health services for children and youth throughout Renfrew County. This means engaging youth, parents and service providers on and through the work of the Renfrew County Community Mental Health Advisory Committee.
The Phoenix Centre will also participate in the Lead Agency Consortium to collaborate with and learn from other Lead Agencies across the province.
WHY DOES THE CURRENT SYSTEM NEED TO CHANGE?
Many Renfrew County families requiring mental health support have noted that the lack of standardized services is a primary issue — both locally and throughout Ontario. While some service areas are experiencing a noticeable gap in support, others are overwhelmed by a duplication in the services that are offered. This prevents young people from getting the help they need to support their well-being.
WHAT CHANGES WILL BE MADE?
In Renfrew County, there is a duplication of services delivered by The Phoenix Centre, and those being offered by regional service providers such as Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Royal Ottawa Hospital and the Youth Services Bureau, to name a few. Meanwhile, other crucial services are not being delivered at all.
To address this issue, we’ve developed the 2016-2017 Core Service Delivery Plan to ensure a full range of core services is offered.
HOW WILL THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS WORK?
In June 2016, the Community Mental Health Advisory Committee was formed comprising cross-sectoral representatives from Renfrew County. One of the Committee’s primary goals is to engage the community in drafting a Community Mental Health Plan. This will involve executing extensive consultations with youth, parents, families and service providers across Renfrew County.
The Committee is partnering with the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Children’s Mental Health to help facilitate this community engagement process.
From June through August 2016, consultations were conducted throughout Renfrew County to provide equal opportunity for input from three communities identified as high-priority:
- First Nations
Additional target communities may be added as we move forward.
WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PLAN?
MOMH is providing Renfrew County with the framework to develop a Community Mental Health Plan in accordance with Ontario’s province-wide goals and objectives, to:
- create pathways between services
- eliminate duplication within the system
- maximize positive outcomes by offering client-based programs and services
This Plan will adhere to the MCYS vision of shaping a new system that best serves those who use it, by engaging youth and adults as key stakeholders in a cross-sectoral collaborative process of drafting a community based strategy.
A key first-step is developing a database of existing mental health services so as to readily compare one to the other and identify overlaps. Several mapping exercises have been conducted in recent few years, however none address the entire system. Thus, The Phoenix Centre is taking a holistic approach, gathering first-hand observations within the community to better understand the entire mental health service delivery system.
WHEN CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE CHANGE?
Full implementation of the MOMH action plan will take several years, from 2016 through 2019. Change will be deliberate, methodical and determined.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR?
- The Phoenix Centre launched a new website. This bilingual (English/French) responsive portal provides online access to a host of information about regional programs, resources and events for families, youth and care providers dealing with the challenges of mental health.
- Completion of the Core Services Planning Document.
- Completion of the Youth and Family Surveys, in partnership with Centre of Excellence.
- Restructuring the Phoenix Centre to meet the needs of allocating more Lead Agency resources to mental health.
- The Renfrew County Mental Health and Addiction Plan will take a collaborative, community-based approach to tackle these issues and work towards a more client-centered mental health and addiction strategy across Renfrew County. Read the draft plan HERE.
- Read a snapshot on the plan HERE.
- Surveys were created and circulated for Youth, Caregivers/Parents, and Service Providers to obtain demographic specific feedback.
For more information about Moving on Mental Health in Renfrew County, contact Greg Lubimiv, Executive Director