THREE PROVINCIAL UMBRELLA ORGANIZATIONS APPLAUD NEWLY RELEASED SELECT
COMMITTEE REPORT ON MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS

TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division (CMHA, Ontario), the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (the Federation), and the Ontario Peer Development Initiative (OPDI) wish to congratulate and express their strong support for the work and directions set by Ontario's Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions in its final report, Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Ontarians, that was released today.

Select Committee Chair, Kevin Flynn, MPP noted that the Select Committee recognized that mental health is not a political issue, it is a health issue that affects millions of Ontarians every year.  "To see a unanimous set of recommendations that spans all political parties in Ontario is an important step for people living with mental health and addiction issues in Ontario," says David Kelly, Executive Director, the Federation. 

The report's 23 recommendations address many of the issues that have been affecting Ontarians needing help for many years.  "The need to involve peer support workers in all aspects of service delivery has and continues to be a goal of OPDI," says Deborrah Sherman, Executive Director, OPDI. "We are pleased to see this need is recognized and recommended by the Committee."

The report reflects the many submissions made to the Committee by Ontarians across the province; consumers, family members, providers, researchers, among others.  "This report is a milestone in Ontario's evolving mental health and addiction system," says Lorne Zon, CEO, CMHA, Ontario. "All political parties need to focus on working together to ensure that action is taken."

Mental health and addictions issues touch more Ontarians each year than many other prominent health issues put together.  Our organizations thank the Select Committee for their dedication over the past 18 months in preparing this report. 

About CMHA, Ontario

Founded in 1952, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario, is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to improving the lives of people with mental illness and their families, and to the promotion of mental health for all Ontarians. CMHA, Ontario achieves its mission through public education, applied research and policy analysis, and advocating for healthy public policy and an effective and efficient health system. Ontario's 33 local CMHA branches provide direct services and supports to communities across the province. Learn more at www.ontario.cmha.ca.

About OPDI

Founded originally in 1991, Ontario Peer Development Initiative took its current name and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2001.  OPDI is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) with the mandate and mission: "to acquire, understand and amplify the unique and distinct voice of consumer/survivor organizations across Ontario. The experiential expertise of our peers will shape the mental health system to achieve a valued, recovery-oriented, community-based approach to support." OPDI has, in consultation with its 50+ member organizations, recently created a Peer Support Core Essentials Toolkit and Train-the-Trainer Program which will bring for the first time to Ontario, a common method of training peer supporters.  Learn more at www.opdi.org.

About the Federation

The Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (OFMCHAP), also known as the Federation, is a non-profit corporation with over 220 member organizations from across Ontario. The goal of the Federation is to enable its members to provide high quality, comprehensive and accessible community mental health and addiction services. To achieve that goal the Federation represents the views of its members in relation to service development, planning and coordination, funding and administrative matters, as well as development of provincial policy and legislation. Learn more at href="http://www.ofcmhap.on.ca/">www.ofcmhap.on.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Mental Health Association

For further information: For further information:

Kismet Baun, Senior Communications Advisor
CMHA, Ontario
(416) 977-5580, ext. 4141
kbaun@ontario.cmha.ca

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Canadian Mental Health Association

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