Cota's annual event - profiling inspiring and innovative community partnerships - introducing the new FOCUS team in collaboration with St. Michael's Hospital and more

TORONTO, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Cota is an accredited, not-for-profit, community-based organization that has been supporting adults with mental health and cognitive challenges to live well within their communities for over 40 years. We offer a wide range of services to adults living with serious mental illness, geriatric mental health conditions, acquired brain injuries, developmental disabilities and dual diagnoses.  Our services reach over 2,500 people each year.

This year, Cota will be hosting its annual event on June 19, 2014, 2:30p.m. at the Ontario Heritage Centre.  At the event, we will be profiling some of the new innovative community initiatives that we are involved in.  Guest speakers will present information about our collaborations with St. Michael's Hospital, the City of Toronto and Black Creek Community Health Centre.

St. Michael's Hospital and Cota will be presenting about the new Mid-East Toronto Health Link Integrated Service Coordination Team called FOCUS. The program is designed to support individuals with a serious mental illness that significantly impairs their functioning in community living.  This is an exciting opportunity for Cota to further assist individuals in the downtown core—often high needs, complex (addictions, acquired brain injury, mental health issues) clients "fall through the cracks", and require many intensive supports to help them to the next level of recovery/wellness and the FOCUS team will do just that—focus on the individual and provide them with a high level of care from an interdisciplinary, integrated service coordination team.

The City of Toronto and Cota will be presenting about an educational initiative which improved the knowledge base of Streets to Homes workers across the City of Toronto. The goal of Streets to Homes is to end street homelessness within the City of Toronto by utilizing the Housing First approach. The approach provides a homeless individual with a safe and affordable place to live and then offers services to support housing stability and promote wellness. Cota's role as one of the community partners is to provide intensive follow-up housing support to individuals with extremely high, complex needs. Within the last 24 months, Cota piloted complex care training to Streets-to-Homes workers throughout the city, including other community partners of the Streets to Homes program. Today, Cota has a dedicated full-time employee to provide workshops, coaching, one-to-one training, and consultation on client issues to Streets to Homes workers across the City of Toronto.

Cota is part of an exciting initiative funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation for a new initiative called Advocacy for Change. This initiative is a collaboration between Cota, Black Creek Community Health Centre, Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre, CAMH and Delta Family Community Centre. Advocacy for Change will be establishing a resident-led advocacy group for consumer survivors and their families. The group will work to overcome barriers in accessing mental health services in the Jane/Finch community.

"At Cota we take great pride in the positive change that we inspire in the lives of the people we support and in the broader health care sector in which we operate. We are committed to developing innovative service solutions for people living with complex needs who most often fall through the cracks of the health and social service systems." says Paul Bruce, Executive Director.

Members of the public who are interested in donating or volunteering at Cota can contact (416)785-9230 or visit for more information.

PDF available at:


For further information: Media Contact: Sarah Kommala Baez, Communications Specialist, (416) 785-9230 ext. 1189,,

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