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What We Do

What we know from the Statistics Canada survey released in September 2003 is that 2.6 million people live with mental health disorders and that 1.1 million people nationally live without treatment/support for those mental health issues. The study also went on to state that 18% of those who did not seek treatment “reported that they were afraid to ask for help, or they were afraid of what others would think”.

Many consumer driven groups/organizations work in isolation due to the same stigma that plagues individuals, and the lack of resources and understanding of how to access resources. We have consulted and disseminated information to these organizations, however, there is a need to bring all key stakeholders to a table where issues could be discussed in an organized and meaningful way that would be inclusive of all, around all issues of relevance and that would lead to the building of a coalition.

We have witnessed, in recent years, a reduction of financial support to a multitude of organizations nationally. This leads to further increased isolation of individuals who formerly used the non-traditional system for support.

The strongest of these organizations have survived in isolation with little support, and, in many cases, ignored from the mental health system in their respective jurisdictions. This community is in dire need for coalition building that will bring together leaders to share knowledge, and build on what we know to create a stronger, more unified voice that will benefit the nation at large in coming years.

This project seeks to satisfy coalition building need, capacity building of provincial/regional/national organizations, to address pressing issues, and to begin a process of the development of a national team.

In terms of COALITION BUILDING, we plan to bring together key regional stakeholders nationally to begin to develop a national coalition to work on key issues that affect our constituency. This piece would include information sharing between all participants about programs/projects currently being offered in their jurisdiction by mental health consumer/survivors, barriers being faced by these same organizations, and a priority list of what the coalition can do to support their need.

This project will build the CAPACITY of mental health disability organizations by providing networking opportunities that will foster new relationships between associations. This coalition will create reference points where answers to pressing difficulties within organizations are found and this will have a trickle down effect to community based organizations represented by their region.

A TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE by the sharing of Best Practices and Lessons Learned will be an outcome of the beginning phase of building this coalition. Sharing of organizational Best Practices and Lessons Learned will be a consequence of this project.

ISSUES pressing our community will be listed, prioritized and committees will be created, and organized to work on those issues most relevant to the need of our community. Some examples of issues affecting our community include: Stigma, Barriers to Employment, Public Policy, Lack of Appropriate Housing, Lack of Sufficient access to Services and Supports, etc.

Objectives

  1. To create a coalition of mental health consumer/survivor driven organizations. This coalition will represent all provinces/territories/national and organized regions of Canada where consumer/survivor organizations, funded or not, exist.
     
  2. To create a management team that will be oversee the duties of operational issues of the coalition and policy creation.
     
  3. To create a mechanism for organizational sharing of Best Practices and Lessons Learned.
     
  4. To identify common issues of consumer/survivor need across jurisdictions nationally.
     
  5. To prioritize and create a work plan for addressing common issues.
     
  6. To implement and organize committees to carry out the work plan created to address issues of priority.

This Coalition is seeking organizational involvement from across the country, so if your organization wants to appoint a leader to work with us as we grow; we encourage you to contact [email protected] or 1-888-406-4663 to begin the process of your involvement.

 

 
 


  Disclaimer
This project is funded by the Government of Canada. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.