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: