August 13, 2012
Over the years, the Canadian Mental Health Association has had a number of awards to recognize commitment and leadership. Since April 2011, a newly constituted Awards Working Group (AWG) comprised of Board members, The National Consumer Advisory Council (NCAC), CMHA affiliates (staff) and an external representative with experience with Awards processes has been meeting to provide advice to the National CEO and Board on the awards program and annual recipients.
A scan of select members from all levels of CMHA had shown a gradual decline over several years in the nominations for many of the 12 CMHA national awards.
Awards Program Planning and New National Awards
Due to low interest in the Awards program, the AWG developed an awards planning framework to assess, develop and recommend a new National Awards program. The draft framework included an assessment in the areas of program purpose, program focus, audience, selection, presentation and logistics of presenting awards.
As part of this assessment, the AWG examined CMHA affiliate’s awards programs and conducted a limited scan of other awards programs (e.g. Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health).
Based on the AWG recommendations, the National Board approved, in May 2012, the following new annual CMHA National Awards Program:
• two external awards to recognize inspirational leadership, innovation and excellence outside CMHA in the promotion of mental health: the awards, named after C.M. Hincks and Edward J. Pennington to reflect CMHA’s history, will be presented through external partnership(s);
• one internal award offered to recognize inspirational leadership, innovation and excellence within CMHA related to CMHA’s collective goals and core functions: to be presented at the CMHA National Conference; and
• two consumer awards offered to honour and recognize leadership, innovation and excellence related to embracing the voice of people with mental health issues.
The National Consumer Advisory Council (NCAC) will continue to oversee the consumer awards and the awards will be presented at the CMHA National Conference and through external opportunities/partnership(s).
The new National Awards Program will be launched Fall 2013 at the CMHA National Conference. External Awards may also be presented when opportunities are identified to partner with external stakeholders and/or sponsors.
This timeline will allow for the following next steps to be completed:
• develop specific Awards criteria, nominations forms and processes (internal and external) and promote to internal and external audiences;
• explore external partnerships/opportunities to present/announce external awards; and
• coordinate with NCAC to refresh the consumer awards nominations criteria, forms and processes in keeping with the new strategic plan and the new National awards program.
For more information on CMHA’s National Award Program, please contact Julie Flatt at firstname.lastname@example.org