Publications

Mental Health : 2000 and Beyond : Strengthening Ontario's Mental Health System

A Report on the Consultative Review of Mental Health Reform
in the Province of Ontario

By Dan Newman, MPP
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health

June 1998


Table of Contents


A History of the Mental Health System in Ontario

The first asylum was opened in 1850 at what is now the Addiction and Mental Health Services Corporation (formerly the Queen Street Mental Health Centre). For the next century, the provincial public mental hospitals provided treatment, shelter, asylum and custody for the seriously mentally ill, criminals, the homeless and other marginalized members of society.

The catalyst for the de-institutionalization of Ontario hospitals began in the early 1960s with the introduction of psychotropic drugs for treating mental illness. While these drugs could not affect a cure in most patients suffering from a mental illness, they were often capable of reducing or controlling symptoms. This allowed patients to be discharged into the community and find acceptance within society. Patients began to be discharged into settings like Homes for Special Care, community hospital psychiatric units, private hospitals and other community settings.

The therapeutic advances, which allowed earlier discharge and de-institutionalization, however, were not matched by a development of appropriate community services. As discharges from provincial hospitals increased so too did the number of readmissions. This was referred to as the "revolving door syndrome". This syndrome has been attributed to a failure by past governments to design a strong mental health system capable of providing a continuum of care which follows the patient, wherever the patient may be, as that patient moves from one place to another.

Since the 1960s, a number of other major developments have had a significant impact on the mental health system in Ontario. The introduction of universal health insurance in this province in 1972, for example, resulted in a four-fold increase in the utilization of psychiatric services.

In 1988, after a series of consultations across the province, the Graham Report, Building Community Support for People was released. The report proposed a long-range plan for the development and implementation of an organized, comprehensive community mental health system. People who suffered from a serious mental illness or disability were identified as a priority.

In 1993, the former government released a 10-year plan for mental health reform in Ontario entitled Putting People First. This policy framework endorsed the Graham Report's vision of a community mental health system. Today, however, at the midpoint of that 10-year plan it has become evident that the former government failed to provide the necessary dollars and failed to implement the reform necessary to develop a strong mental health system.

Since 1995, our government has made a series of funding announcements to enhance mental health services in Ontario. Funding of $23.5 million has been allocated for the Community Investment Fund (CIF). Across Ontario our government has established and enhanced case management, community treatment teams, and crisis response services. Our government is committed to creating a strong mental health system that provides patients with a continuum of care from prevention to community and in-hospital treatment.


The Consultation Process

In 1993, the former government approved a policy framework on mental health reform, entitled Putting People First. The document outlined a 10-year mental health reform strategy in Ontario. Our government now finds itself at the midpoint of that 10-year plan. In order to decide whether that strategy works for Ontarians and to identify areas where improvements are needed, our government has decided to reevaluate the former government's strategy. On January 28th of this year the Honourable Elizabeth Witmer, Minister of Health, asked me to lead a comprehensive 5-week consultative review of mental health reform in Ontario. The consultation was aimed at providing our government with a better insight into the issues surrounding mental health reform and to provide recommendations on our government's future directions for mental health reform in this province.

In order to ensure that my 5-week review was thorough and provided as much opportunity for all Ontarians and stakeholders in the mental health system to have input into the recommendations, individuals and groups were able to participate in the following ways :

  • round table meetings with key stakeholders;
  • site visits across the province;
  • personal meetings with various groups and individuals with expertise and experience in mental health;
  • written submissions from all those who wished to provide input into the consultations.

In addition to receiving more than 100 written submissions and 500 telephone calls, and participating in numerous meetings, I travelled to a number of communities across Ontario to meet with stakeholders and tour sites to see first hand many of the issues that were raised. My travels included the communities of Belleville, Brockville, Hamilton, Newmarket, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Whitby, and several sites in Toronto.

In order to provide a forum for key stakeholders to discuss the issues surrounding mental health reform together, I chaired two roundtable meetings in Toronto attended by several dozen organizations from across Ontario. In addition, I had the opportunity to meet twice with the Provincial Advisory Committee on Mental Health in Ontario (PAC). As well, I met with the Honourable Cam Jackson, Minister Responsible for Seniors and his Roundtable Discussion Group on Alzheimer's Disease.

A list of sites that I visited and individuals that I met with is provided in Appendices II and III.

Earlier this year, I met with Minister Witmer in order to discuss my consultations and provide a synopsis of the common themes, which I had heard during the 5-week review. At that meeting the Minister asked that I finalize my review and recommendations by providing her with this report.


Common Themes :  What I Heard

From my 5-week review a number of common themes emerged that our government must address to reform the mental health system in Ontario. These themes are a compilation of what I heard during my consultations and represent the ideas and opinions of a wide variety of stakeholders from across the province.

The following are the common themes that I heard :

  • Our government must focus on implementing reform.
  • There is a need for increased funding and appropriate transitional funding.
  • Services for people with a mental illness need to be better coordinated and integrated between Ministries.
  • Support must be given for a coordinated and comprehensive mental health service system, which provides a continuum of care.
  • The issue of improved services for the forensic population must be addressed.
  • Consumers need the best available access to services and medications.
  • There is a need to focus on accountability, outcome measures, evidence-based research, and evaluation.
  • A service delivery model for mental health services in Ontario must be designed.
  • Consumer/survivors and their families need meaningful participation in the reform process.
  • Ontario's diverse population must be addressed during the reform process.
  • There needs to be a plan for the change management process.
  • An effort must be made to improve education, training, and public awareness.
  • Our government should undertake a review of the Mental Health Act and related legislation in order to ensure the effectiveness of the legislation.

Nearly all the individuals with whom I consulted over my 5-week review emphasized and stressed the need for our government to focus on implementation of mental health reform. Many groups acknowledged that a great deal of time and effort has gone into planning mental health reform, but these efforts have resulted in little change from past governments. As a result, any further conceptual planning is unacceptable, and the time for implementation is now.

To this end, I was told that if desired changes are to be realized, political commitment from our government to real and lasting reform is necessary. It was also suggested that a formal statement be made communicating the government's priorities for the future of mental health reform. This would ensure that all groups are working towards the same goals under a mutual understanding of our government's directions and priorities.

All groups expressed the view that funding is critical to implementing mental health reform. I heard during my consultations that transitional funding was necessary during implementation of reform. More specific, funding for community supports and services is vital, and must be ensured. I also heard that equitable funding for regional differences throughout our province should be considered.

The need for integration and coordination in the mental health service system was highlighted by many of those with whom I consulted. Integration and coordination can be realized by reducing barriers between the community and hospital sectors. Specifically, mental health reform should focus on an integrated approach to the delivery of services, while coordination within and between the two systems would provide a seamless mental health system.

Participants in my consultations told me that there needs to be better inter-ministerial coordination, both within the Ministry of Health itself and between different ministries.

All groups expressed the need for a coordinated mental health service system that reflects an integrated and holistic continuum of care and support. Specifically, I was told that our government must work to close the gaps in services between institutional and community-based care. Past governments had no defined coordination or integration to link a planned decrease in psychiatric beds to a planned increase in community mental health services and supports. In addition, participants stressed the need for health promotion and disease prevention, including services that would prevent the deterioration of those with serious mental health problems.

Participants raised concerns surrounding services for the forensic population, including lengthy detention of individuals in correctional settings, accessibility of hospital beds when required, and the need for enhanced court diversion services. Our government was told that immediate enhancement of court diversion services was needed and that our government should explore options such as the establishment of a consolidated mental disorder court.

A number of individuals that I met with highlighted the importance of ensuring access to newer medications for individuals with serious mental illness and cited limitations of the Ontario Drug Benefit Program.

Access to appropriate services is critical for individuals with a mental illness. It was suggested that access was hampered in many cases by a lack of knowledge as to where to get the required services. Participants said that a system similar to that of our government's Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) or paediatric network might be helpful.

I also heard throughout my consultations that accountability, including a focus on outcome measurements based on evaluative research, must become the key pillar in our government's mental health reform. I was told that accountability needs to be built in throughout the system, and that all stakeholders, including physicians and other mental health workers and professionals be held accountable for responding to our government's directions on mental health reform.

Funding and program development should be connected to outcome measurements, best practices and evaluative research. Outcomes that relate to quality of life were viewed as an essential focus. I also heard that evaluation studies should be used to guide changes when certain aspects of the system prove to be ineffective. Many noted that efforts should be made to avoid "re-inventing the wheel", rather, efforts should focus on taking advantage of existing research. Moreover, others suggested that the Academic Health Sciences Centres could make valuable research contributions and should be more involved in mental health reform.

During my consultations a number of participants raised the need for regional governance or regional authorities. Others suggested a more centralized approach was appropriate. Several individuals noted that regional authorities are important factors in jurisdictions where mental health reform has been effective. It was emphasized that roles at the regional and local level would need to be clearly spelled out and distinguished from those of the Ministry of Health. As well, I was told that the Ministry should focus on creating policy directions and ensuring accountability and compliance. I also heard that local or regional bodies could have responsibility for planning, evaluating and funding recommendations based on local or regional needs.

The participation of consumer/survivors and their family members was emphasized as being essential to our government's reform efforts. An effective mental health system, including access to services, would be ensured by the involvement of both groups. Meaningful participation from consumer/survivors and their family members was viewed as essential in all levels of planning, evaluation and service delivery. The importance of providing sufficient resources to consumer/survivors and their family members' initiatives, as well as opportunities for groups to collaborate was stressed.

Participants told me that current and future mental health reform must be sensitive to the diversity of Ontario's population. In addition, I was told that age and gender differences must be taken into consideration during reform, and that our government must be responsive to the mental health needs of children and youth. Participation by representatives from various communities is essential to effective planning, accountability, evaluation measures, and service delivery.

Participants indicated that attention must be given to developing an effective change management plan. Specifically, a human resource strategy should be developed and labour should be involved in the process.

There was a diversity of opinion expressed surrounding the idea of changing the Mental Health Act and related pieces of legislation. While many did not feel that legislative change was necessary for reform to proceed, a number of people expressed the desire for changes to legislation.

Of those who called for change, many suggested that the Act should be changed in order to reflect our government's move to an integrated and coordinated mental health system, which provides a continuum of care for those who need it. I was told that our current legislation, which was designed to support an institutional-based mental health system, may not be effective as we create an integrated and coordinated system that provides a continuum of care from prevention to in-hospital and community-based treatment. However, most people agreed that before any legislative change is made, a proper review of legislation in other jurisdictions must be made.

I was told by a number of individuals and groups that our government must educate those in the mental health system about the intent and application of the Act as an initial step before proceeding with legislative changes. As well, I was told that there was an immediate need for an education and training program for mental health workers and professionals, including the need for cross-sectoral education and training.

Overall, I am confident that my consultations have provided me with a broad range of suggestions and insight into the issues surrounding mental health reform in Ontario. These consultations have allowed me to provide our government with concrete next steps.


Next Steps

During my 5-week review a number of important issues were raised and suggestions made surrounding mental health reform in Ontario. Although there were many divergent views on specific solutions, there was certainly some common agreement on what next steps our government needs to take. It is my belief that our government must act quickly to address these next steps.

Throughout my consultations, individuals from across the province told me that the former government had failed to follow through with a commitment to implement change in the mental health system. Our government must be committed to implementing reform in order to create a coordinated and integrated system that provides a continuum of care to those who need it.

While moving ahead to reform the mental health system, our government must use the following guiding principles.

  • Our government should focus mental health reform on the quality of life of individuals with serious mental health problems.
  • Our government should recognize the importance of a holistic approach to the mental health system, one that addresses the broader determinants of health, including housing, education, jobs and income support.
  • Our government should focus on creating an integrated and comprehensive system of mental health services which provide a continuum of care for those who need it from prevention to community and in-hospital treatment.

Our government was told that one of the top priorities for mental health reform must be a commitment to action. More specifically, I heard that our government should "just do it".

Based on what I have heard, I strongly believe that :

Our government must demonstrate its commitment to mental health reform by creating an integrated and coordinated system of mental health services in Ontario.

  • This system must be based on best practices and include a continuum of care, which emphasizes promotion and prevention, and ensures an appropriate balance of hospital and community services.
  • This system must also recognize our government's continued focus on the seriously mentally ill.

In addition, I strongly believe that :

Our government should immediately establish a program design team, which will be responsible for developing a provincial implementation strategy for the delivery of mental health services in Ontario.

  • This model must recognize regional and local responsibility for the delivery of services, while ensuring provincial standards and accountability.
  • This model must include a detailed implementation strategy with specific targets and benchmarks, performance measures, a framework for accountability, and a human resource plan.

There was also agreement from the various groups and individuals with whom I consulted around the issue of funding for mental health services in Ontario.

I was told that adequate funding was a critical component to the successful reform of our mental health system and that transitional funding during the implementation of reform was crucial. Because the former government failed to provide the necessary community funding as it moved patients out of hospitals and into community settings, funding for community supports and services was identified as a key priority for our government to address.

As our government shows its commitment to real and lasting mental health reform I strongly believe that :

Our government should ensure dedicated funding for the mental health system and timely access to transitional funding in order to ensure that Ontarians are provided with the services they need.

Perhaps the issue that sparked the most impassioned debate was whether or not our government should move forward with legislative changes to the Mental Health Act and related legislation.

I believe that it is critical for our government to ensure that all components of the mental health system, including legislation, operate in an integrated and coordinated fashion to deliver the best services to Ontarians who need them. In order to ensure that this happens our government has an obligation to review legislation, which affects the mental health system. As our government moves forward to reform the mental health system we must ensure that our statutes reflect the new system that we create.

To move forward with mental health reform without also reviewing the effectiveness of our province's legislation would fly in the face of our attempts to create a truly integrated and coordinated system able to provide a continuum of care for Ontarians.

In order to ensure the most effective legislation I strongly believe that :

Our government must immediately begin a review of the Mental Health Act and related legislation in order to ensure that legislation fulfills the following fundamental principles :

  • That legislation supports our government's creation of an integrated and coordinated mental health system capable of providing a continuum of care from prevention to in-hospital and community-based treatment;
  • That legislation allows those who need mental health services in Ontario to access those services where and when they need them;  and
  • That legislation ensures public safety.

During my consultations, I was told that confusion and misinterpretation exists within the mental health system and the broader public regarding the intent and application of the Mental Health Act and related legislation. Our government has an obligation to ensure that professionals, providers, consumer/survivors and their families, and the broader public are educated about our province's legislation.

I strongly believe that :

Our government should immediately begin an aggressive education and public awareness campaign aimed at clarifying the intent and application of the Mental Health Act and related legislation.

  • This campaign must include professionals, providers, consumer/survivors and their families, as well as the broader public.
  • This campaign, however, will not preclude a review of legislation, but should be used as a vehicle to ensure that legislative changes support the before-mentioned, fundamental principles for legislation.

Across the province, I was told that communication and coordination are key to ensuring successful mental health reform.

Communication and coordination within the government is no different. Decisions taken within one government ministry without the expertise and experience of other ministries can lead to ineffective reform of the mental health system.

Throughout the consultations I was told that the provincial government needs to better coordinate mental health services by ensuring that the proper dialogue and communication takes place between government ministries and within the Ministry of Health itself.

In order to ensure that this happens I strongly believe that :

Our government should explore every opportunity to ensure better coordination and service delivery linkages between all ministries that deal with mental health issues in Ontario.

Because past governments have failed to act on what Ontarians told them regarding mental health reform, it is crucial that our government take these next steps. By taking these important next steps towards the reform of the mental health system our government can ensure successful reform. Taking these next steps will create a solid foundation of mental health services in Ontario and will allow our government to address other issues around mental health services in the future.


Conclusion

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to lead this consultative review of mental health services in Ontario.

Across this province people told me the importance of consultation and that they welcomed the opportunity to provide our government with input on how to strengthen our mental health system.

However, people also told me that it was important for our government to make a commitment to act now on reforms and to demonstrate that commitment with a clearly designed implementation strategy.

As this report has highlighted, there are a number of issues and common themes surrounding mental health reform.

My recommendations are designed to ensure that our government implements a coordinated mental health system that provides a continuum of care for those who require mental health services in Ontario.

My recommendations are not intended to be viewed as an end point for our government; rather they are intended to provide our government with the necessary next steps to create a system capable of providing Ontarians with the best possible services well into the next century.

As a government, however, we must continue to reexamine the system to ensure that it is meeting the needs of those it is intended to serve.

My consultations during the 5-week review have convinced me that with a strong commitment towards mental health reform from our government we have the opportunity to create a mental health system in Ontario second to none.

Our mental health system is blessed with a strong foundation of caring and dedicated individuals whose wealth of knowledge and insights will be a tremendous asset to our government over the coming months and years.

Ontario continues to have one of the best mental health care systems in the world and our government's commitment to bring forth real and lasting mental health reform will ensure that it remains one of the best systems into the year 2000 and beyond.


Appendix I

Biography of Dan Newman

Dan Newman is the Member of Provincial Parliament for the electoral district of Scarborough Centre, which is located in the City of Toronto. Dan was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in the 1995 provincial general election.

Dan was born in Toronto on January 16th, 1963. A graduate of R.H. King Collegiate Institute (now R.H. King Academy) in Scarborough Centre (Class of 1982), he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from University College of the University of Toronto (Class of 1987).

Dan spent 10 years of his career with the Toronto Sun Publishing Corporation. From 1985 to 1987 he worked as Home Delivery District Manager; from 1987 to 1990 he served as Senior Circulation Supervisor for the Financial Post (sister publication to the Toronto Sun); and, from 1990 to 1995 he served as Home Delivery Supervisor.

A life-long resident of Scarborough Centre, Dan has been actively involved in the preservation and promotion of Scarborough's public image. Among various initiatives, he organized a highly successful food drive in cooperation with a local church and several financial institutions. He also has worked with neighbours and the police to curb drug trafficking.

Dan was nominated as a candidate on June 29th, 1994 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on June 8th, 1995. Subsequent to his election, on July 12th, 1995 Dan was appointed by Premier Mike Harris to serve as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Native Affairs.

For his first two years in public service, Dan took an active role in numerous committees of the Legislative Assembly. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Social Development, the Standing Committee on Government Agencies, and the Standing Committee on General Government for Bill 103 public hearings.

In addition to these duties, Dan assumed a number of additional responsibilities for the government. He was appointed to serve on the Government Task Force on Agencies, Boards and Commissions, which was established to identify and act on inefficiencies in government.

On April 15th, 1997, Dan Newman shifted his focus to a new set of responsibilities, as he was appointed by Premier Harris to serve as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health.


Appendix II


Site Visits

Homes for Special Care
Newmarket and Queensville, Ontario
February 17th, 1998

Habitat Services
Toronto, Ontario
February 19th, 1998

Raging Spoon Café
Toronto, Ontario
February 19th, 1998

Whitby Provincial Psychiatric Hospital
Whitby, Ontario
February 20th, 1998

East Metro Connections
Scarborough, Ontario
February 20th, 1998

Canadian Mental Health Association
Thunder Bay, Ontario
February 21st, 1998

Mental Health Rights Coalition
Hamilton, Ontario
February 23rd, 1998

Hamilton Provincial Psychiatric Hospital
Hamilton, Ontario
February 23rd, 1998

Hamilton Program for Schizophrenia
Hamilton, Ontario
February 23rd, 1998

Royal Ottawa Hospital
Ottawa, Ontario
February 24th, 1998

Brockville Provincial Psychiatric Hospital
Brockville, Ontario
February 24th, 1998

Belleville General Hospital
Belleville, Ontario
February 24th, 1998


Appendix III

List of Individuals, Groups and Organizations Consulted

The following is a list of those individuals, groups and organizations with whom I had the opportunity to consult during my 5-week review. This list does not include the more than 100 written submissions that I received.

  • Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, Scarborough Chapter
  • Dr. Stephen Connell, Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists
  • Gloria Mazza, R.N., Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Colborne Community Centre
  • Dr. James Young, Chief Coroner of Ontario
  • Justice Douglas Carruthers, Chair, Ontario Review Board
  • Ontario Medical Association
  • Ontario Psychological Association
  • Dr. Perry Kendall, Addiction and Mental Health Services
  • Fred Upshaw, MERC Co-chair, OPSEU
  • Nancy Higgins
  • Sheila Weinstock, Ontario Association of Children's Mental Health Centres
  • Marguerite Olsen, Community Care Access Centres - York Region
  • Marnie Shepherd, Coordinator, CSDI
  • Peggy Birnberg, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
  • Susan Morris, Chair, Habilitative Mental Health Resource Network
  • Jeff Willbee, Executive Director, Alcohol and Drug Recovery Association
  • Paula Goering, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry
  • Alemka Mahalec, Director, Peel Memorial Hospital, Child & Adolescent Clinic
  • Margaret Gehr, ACTT representative, Mental Health Outreach Service
  • Dr. Emmanuel Persad, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, London Health Sciences Centre
  • Mike Dowdell, President, Ontario Homes for Special Care Association
  • Christine Nuernberger, Ontario Nursing Home Association
  • Graham Constantine, Chair, Provincial Executive Directors Group, DHC
  • Janice Wiggins, Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
  • Margaret Ringland, OANHSS
  • Craig Martin, Associate Director, Government/Provincial Affairs, Eli Lilly Canada
  • Dr. Kate Pautler, West Muskoka/Parry Sound DHC
  • Alan Nickell, Coordinating and Advisory Council for Mental Health & Addiction Services
  • Dr. John Bradford, Director of Forensic Services, Royal Ottawa Hospital, Program and Sexual Behavioural Clinic
  • John B. Hill, Chairperson, The Alliance of Mental Health Services
  • Dr. Alan Eppel, O.P.A. and Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists
  • Sheila Munk, Ministry of Community & Social Services, Development Services Branch
  • Mounir Marhaba, Executive Director, JPPC
  • Patty Bregman, Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped
  • Dr. Norm Rosenblood, McMaster University, Department of English
  • Dr. Edgardo Perez, Chief Executive Director, Homewood Health Centre Inc.
  • Dr. Steven Connell, Coaltion of Ontario Psychiatrists
  • Claire Price, Council of Elizabeth Fry Society, Ontario
  • Anita Szigetti, Mental Health Legal Committee
  • Susan James, Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists
  • Freida Chavez, Director, St. Elizabeth Health Care
  • Bob Youtz, Executive Director, Peel DHC
  • Ron Shaw, Executive Director, Kent DHC
  • Michael Bay, Chair, Consent and Capacity Board
  • Bill Dufton, Ministry of Community & Social Services
  • Trudy Spinks, Deputy Director, Public Guardian & Trustee's Office
  • Jane Goddard, Manager, Public Guardian & Trustee's Office
  • Diane Doherty, Superintendent, Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre
  • George Langill, CEO, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group
  • Nicolette Kaszor, Regional Mental Health Planner, Thunder Bay DHC
  • Anne Hubbert, Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa
  • Dr. David Goldbloom, Addiction and Mental Health Services Corporation
  • Gail Dobney, Crown Attorney's Office, Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Diana Schell, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Health
  • Judith MacKay, Co-Chair, Provincial Advisory Committee on Mental Health in Ontario
  • Glenn R. Thompson, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
  • Shaheen Ali, Ethno-racial Mental Health Coalition
  • Debbie Bazylewski, Ontario Psychiatric Survivors Association, Sunset Country Regional Chapter
  • Ken Bielby, Assistant Coordinator, Cambridge Active Self Help
  • John Bowcott, People for Equal Partnership in Mental Health
  • Dr. Howard Cappell, Executive Director, Ontario Mental Health Foundation
  • Diana Capponi, Co-ordinator, Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses
  • Paul Cappuccio, Association of Allied Health Professionals, Ontario
  • Debra Eklove, Association of Ontario Physicians and Dentists in Public Service
  • Jim Gillespie, Secretary-Treasurer, P.A.C.E.
  • Chris Higgins, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addictions Programs, and Chair, Ontario Health Providers Alliance
  • Lynne Moore, Chronic Care & Rehabilitation, Ontario Hospital Association
  • Susanna Klassen, Ontario Nurses Association
  • Barb Leblanc, Manager, Health Policy, Ontario Medical Association
  • Steve Lurie, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch
  • Marlene Loubser, Psychiatric Survivors of Kingston, Inc.
  • Bruce Mallon, Community Mental Health Services
  • Andre Marcil, Kapuskasing Counselling Services
  • Mary Dymerski
  • Anne Oakley, Coordinator, Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women
  • Mark Parsons
  • Dr. Khatim Ali
  • Ernesto Tobia, Chair, Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere (F.A.M.E.)
  • Selina Volpatti, President, Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
  • Judy Wallace, Coordinator, Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere (F.A.M.E.)
  • Dr. Don Wasylenki, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Wellesley/St Michael's Mental Health Services
  • John Woods, O.F.O.S., Southwestern Ontario Region
  • Lynne Woolcott, Niagara Neighbourhood Health Centre
  • Colin C. Young
  • Hugh Adams, OPSEU
  • Mr. Reg Lavoie, Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay
  • Dr. Beth Mitchell, Director, Mental Health Division, London Health Sciences Centre
  • Kate Pautler, West Muskoka/Parry Sound DHC
  • Sasha Pederson
  • Dr. Peter Prendergast, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Whitby Mental Health Centre
  • Dr. David Thow, Health Supervisor, York Community Services
  • Ms. Fiona Wilson, Mental Health Rights Coalition of Hamilton-Wentworth
  • Derek Baker, Business Development Director, Goodwill Toronto
  • Bill McPhee, Publisher, Schizophrenia Digest
  • Mark Crowe
  • Dr. Russell Joffe, Professor & Chairman, Department of Psychology, McMaster University, and Psychiatrist in Chief, Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm

If you are a member of the media, call Communications and Information Branch at 416-314-6197 or visit our News Room section.