I am nearly one year into my role at CMHA Middlesex and I am still continually struck with the unwavering commitment of our staff to providing the highest possible level of service to the community. Across the continuum of services offered – from those which have been in place for years, to those which are new to our service menu – CMHA Middlesex is an agency continually evolving to meet community needs. 2016 was a year of change – but our growth in terms of numbers served and our ability to reduce wait times both tell us we are moving and changing in the right direction. Partnerships with a variety of service providers enhance our capacity to respond to emerging needs. With more than 75,000 online interactions and more than 3,000 individuals attending our public education opportunities each year, we are engaging with the community like never before. Youth are making their way to our Branch in unprecedented numbers and we are shifting our services and supports to meet their needs.
As we look to 2017, I am also struck with the promise the year brings. Expanded housing opportunities, growth in peer programming, a new and expanded focus on youth services, and an emphasis on health promotion and public education are just a few of the enhancements on the horizon. The foundational implementation of the new Patient’s First legislation in Ontario will see significant changes to the structure of the health system and promises improvements in mental health and addictions services. Presented with these significant changes to Ontario’s healthcare landscape, our team at CMHA Middlesex will need to innovate and embed changes within our service design to embrace the changes, but more importantly to continue on our journey of service excellence.
To those who receive services from CMHA Middlesex, to those who work or volunteer on our team, and to those who are about to embark on their journey with us, I want to say thank you. Thank you for trusting us to be part of your recovery, your quest to learn and support your community, and for the work you do every day to support the delivery of mental health and addiction services to the community we live in. We are the largest community based mental health and addictions agency in the South West LHIN and we will continue to grow and evolve to meet the demands of everyone who comes through our doors. Our vision of an inclusive community with mental health and well-being for all is not just a statement – it is what drives us to excellence.