mentallyfitCAP (community action plan)

mentallyfitCAP (Community Action Plan)
A comprehensive plan to be initiated within all communities in Grey, Bruce, Huron and Perth counties. This will serve as the pilot release of a program that can be replicated and implemented in rural communities across the country. This plan has been developed to ensure access to collaborative and comprehensive mental health supports. Collaborative care is care delivered by providers from different disciplines, working to offer integrated and complementary services. As in any effective partnership, common goals, clear and equitable decision-making, and open and regular communication are key.

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability, and in Ontario, the burden of mental illness is greater than that of terminal diseases (i.e.: cancer) or infectious diseases. In any given year, one in four Canadians, including over one million children and youth, experiences a mental health problem or illness. Despite the prevalence and impact of mental health problems and illnesses, one third of Canadians in need of mental health care report their needs are not fully met. Mental illness can take between 7 and 20 years off a person’s life, and those with serious mental illness are most likely to have a shortened lifespan.

Comprehensive local primary care mental health services need to be designed to support the health and well-being of patients and families during their recovery journey. However, the current infrastructure does not have the capacity to service the volume of need. mentallyfit represents a movement towards community and peer support in efforts to bridge the wait times between mental health crisis and response. When mental health is given priority and supports are put in place to enable both individual and peer support options, the burden on the system is reduced (i.e.: emergency department visits, police interventions and other in-patient departments).

The objectives of the mentallyfitCAP include:

  • Create mental health training facilitators within the four counties identified, including specified resources within Indigenous groups
  • Facilitate the delivery of ASIST training to educators, corporate groups, community members and Indigenous groups in order to develop a network of peer crisis response
  • Create a platform, using, that links community service providers relevant to the support of those living with or supporting those with mental health issues or illnesses
  • Improve communication and satisfaction among interdisciplinary personnel and other stakeholders
  • Provide community education presentations with the intention of changing the culture of acceptance around mental health, educating on available supports, sharing lived experience, and encouraging participation with identified supports
  • Initiate community peer support groups and events to provide immediate support to those in need
  • Provide information and education on services to individuals facing barriers in accessing primary mental health care
  • Establish open channels of communication and information sharing with community based Primary Healthcare providers, in effort to support timely mental health services to those suffering from an episodic or other circumstance requiring access and treatment
mentallyfit School Programs
  • Provide training in ASIST for FT staff, ongoing with funding availability
  • Establish a student led group within each elementary and secondary school (to be overseen by minimum of one staff member)
  • Provide mentallyfit resources to establish visual presence within each school and to provide educational material regarding resources and coping tools
  • Guide school groups to develop plans around education, stigma, and support
  • Provide directive to host mental health events within the schools
  • Develop annual “Symposium” to be attended by student led groups and their teacher leads in order to keep up to date information around resources and supports, educate, and maintain networked mental health support community
mentallyfit Corporate Programs
  • Offer access to training in ASIST
  • Provide materials and presentations around creating a mentallyfit workplace, and offering supports for employees and management
  • Provide tools to support workplace mental health
mentallyfit Community Programs
  • Provide signage identifying participating businesses as (part of the mentallyfit Sticker Program), a safe space for community and employees and a response tool for those needing assistance
  • Establish a network of individuals and organizations focused on providing supports and tools for those living with mental health issues, illnesses and those supporting them (mentallyfit Resource Program)
  • Provide training in ASIST for community members willing to be involved in a peer support capacity
  • Develop a series of peer support initiatives using local providers and businesses to support safe spaces, events and resources
  • Deliver community presentations and events to provide first hand lived experience, education and guidance around mentallyfit initiatives
  • Build on existing platform to service geographical area of Bruce, Grey, Huron and Perth
  • Develop database of existing and new service providers
  • Create interactive events page to generate schedules of support services and peer support groups, events, etc.
  • Introduce access to mentallyfit resources for print and reference