September 24, 2019 — Toronto, Ont. At the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) national Mental Health For All conference in Toronto today, CMHA and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) announced that they will be joining forces to foster greater collaboration in a sector where fragmentation has been the norm for too long.
Taking a page from the Pan-Canadian Health Organization Review report, Fit for Purpose, which called for increased partnerships and highlighted the need for improved mental health networks across the country, CMHA and MHCC are striving for deepened collaboration between two traditionally strong and independent organizations.
CMHA, a national organization with a large grassroots footprint, leads mental health advocacy at the community level, offers evidence-based programs, services and supports and mobilizes local partnerships. The MHCC meanwhile, with a mandate to drive mental health public policy in Canada, and a capacity to demonstrate effective mental health interventions, plans to pass stewardship of certain programs and initiatives to CMHA, leveraging their 5,000 staff in 330 communities. One such program is MHCC’s HEADSTRONG, a youth anti-stigma initiative, which will transition to CMHA in the new year, with an aim to increase uptake nationwide.
With the goal of further promoting and protecting mental health, and bolstering recovery from mental illness, MHCC and CMHA will today sign a Memorandum of Understanding to guide their efforts to bridge gaps, amplify best practices, reduce duplication and increase efficiencies.
“Even as we call for increased resources for mental health problems and illnesses, we must make the very best use of our current funding to avoid the pitfalls of duplication of effort and missed opportunities. We must be willing to set aside individual agendas and tear down silos. I believe that by modeling this kind of partner-leadership, we can signal to all entities in the sector that what we do, together, matters a whole lot more than who did what.” — Louise Bradley, president and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
“Today, CMHA and MHCC are taking a step towards a true collaboration, a step that has real-world implications, like getting great programs out into more communities. CMHA’s strength has always been our on-the-ground networks. Together, with our strategic, big-picture view of Canadians’ mental health needs and an extensive grassroots presence, we can redouble our impact and bridge twice the gaps.” — Fardous Hosseiny, Interim National Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association