Navigating the journey to wellness: The comprehensive mental health and addictions action plan for Ontarians

In brief

This is the final report of the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions, created in 2009 to investigate mental health and addictions care in Ontario. The report presents a set of recommendation, including the creation of a new organization to oversee the entire mental health and addictions system, and that a core basket of services be made available in all regions of Ontario.

EENet has developed a Research Report Round-up of the report, “Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Ontarians.”

Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format.

Read it below or download the PDF.

Title and link to report: 
Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Ontarians
Sur le chemin du mieux-être : Le plan d’action compréhensif sur la santé mentale et les dépendances à l’intention des Ontariens et Ontariennes
Author: Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions – Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Year: 2010

Location: Toronto
Population addressed: Ontarians with mental health and addictions concerns

Type of study: Legislative recommendations report

Key words: addictions, legislation, mental health, ministries, Ontario, recommendations, services, system

What this report is about

This report provides 23 recommendations based on findings from the Ontario Legislative Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions seeking to address the concerns of Ontarians surrounding Mental Health and Addictions services in Ontario and improve the care for the greatest number of people.  The recommendations include:

  1. A new umbrella organization—Mental Health and Addictions Ontario (MHAO), responsible to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care—should be created to ensure that a single body is responsible for designing, managing, and coordinating the mental health and addictions system in Ontario.
  2. MHAO should ensure that a basket of core services is available in every region of the province for clients of all ages. Each region must also have sufficient capacity to care for clients with concurrent disorders.
  3. Clients and their families should have access to system navigators who will connect them with the appropriate treatment and community support services and those with continuing, complex needs should be supported by a plan that will lead them through their journey to recovery and wellness.
  4. MHAO should conduct an assessment of the need for acute care psychiatric beds for both children and adults by region.
  5. MHAO should ensure that primary care providers and relevant staff in all levels of the system have access to common, age-appropriate, evidence-based assessment and screening tools.
  6. MHAO should facilitate the creation of more 24/7 mobile crisis intervention teams.
  7. The MOHLTC should expand and do more to publicize Telehealth Ontario’s ability to respond to callers with mental health and addictions issues.
  8. MHAO should work with the MOHLTC to review emergency department protocols in order to increase their capacity to deal effectively, efficiently and sensitively with patients.
  9. Primary care providers should be given the proper tools and support to enable them to develop a greater sensitivity for the mental health and addictions needs of their patients.
  10. All interdisciplinary primary care models should include a mental health and addictions treatment component
  11. MOHLTC should immediately address the problem of addiction to prescription painkillers.
  12. MOHLTC should examine further changes to the family physician remuneration model to focus on improving access to and the quality of primary care for people with mental illnesses and addictions.
  13. MHAO should ensure, coordinate and advocate for the creation of additional affordable and safe housing units,
  14. MHAO should ensure that institutional and community-based service providers actively seek to involve peer support workers in all aspects of service delivery.
  15. MHAO should work with employers and community-based service providers on strategies to increase employment opportunities and supports for people with mental illnesses and addictions.
  16. MHAO should provide for the increased availability of respite care.
  17. The services of court mental health workers should be made widely available across all regions of Ontario, in order to divert more individuals with a mental illness or addiction out of the justice system and into appropriate mental health and addictions services and supports.
  18. Additional Courts should be created across all regions of Ontario, to provide more appropriate services for individuals with a mental illness or addiction.
  19. MCSCS should provide training for officers who may encounter people suffering from mental illnesses and addictions.
  20. The core basket of mental health and addictions services should be available to the incarcerated population, and discharge plans should be expanded to include the services of a system navigator.
  21. MOHLTC should create a task force to investigate and propose changes to Ontario’s mental health legislation and policy pertaining to involuntary admission and treatment.
  22. The task force created to investigate and propose changes to Ontario’s mental health legislation and policy should also investigate and propose changes to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.
  23. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario should review progress on the implementation of the recommendations in this report within two years of its adoption.

How can this report be used

This report highlights the concerns of Ontarians suffering from and living with mental health and addictions issues.  It can be used as a foundational document to spark discussion on system planning and how the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions sector can be improved to better meet the needs of all Ontarians

Contact person/source

Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions – Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON  M7A 1A2

 

 

 

 

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