Embracing the idea we are working within a system, article from INTEGRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION INSIGHTS – helps us to move to long term action within our systems

Helpful article from INTEGRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION INSIGHTS for front line mental health workers trying to work in advancing… practices for the communities we serve. The authors put substance to the idea of thinking beyond the individual, ringing true of the breadth involved with care system change that aims for “the long term” instead of “quick changes.”

” move from a focus on separate dramatic events to a focus on the persistent, often almost continuous, pressures giving rise to the discrete events we see.”


Our mental health care system feels like a super tanker on the ocean that is trying to turn direction – but it needs a lot more than high level planners thinking of the long term.  Anyone in eenetconnect world had any experience with the kind of approach Richardson and Anderson offer to help groups map out decisions to advance practice change?

The fields of systems thinking and system dynamics modelling bring four important patterns of thought to such a group decision and negotiation:

  1. thinking dynamically;
  2. thinking in stocks and flows;
  3. thinking in feedback loops; and,
  4. thinking endogenously.

See the article here: https://i2insights.org/2019/07…for-group-decisions/

I realize for system planners, my question about how people approach understanding systems may be a basic question,  I am curious how from a front line practice perspective, as a cog in the system workers are:

  • engaging in framing  systems in their minds
  • acting and interacting with planners on long term system change
  • bridging our everyday care within a system model

An example — gaps, unmet needs, planned actions, goals are embedded in our organizations and systems focus of care to advance the recovery model .  The Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) is framed as a key activity with individuals (clients) and posited by our care system to advance system change and measure performance. http://eenet.ca/tags/ocan

 ocan data use

The two above images are from the eenetconnect.caOCAN Community of Interest (COI) which is a good example of creating a resource for thinking systems. https://www.ee

Ottawa Community Development Network, a resource to bridge our individual care efforts to client’s everyday lives.

Bill Dare explains – The network is taking on the complexity of the disjointed approaches to individual care and support to bring a “service user” driven foundation to community and neighborhood actions along with finding ways to align organizations and institutions. 

I recently learned more about its efforts to strengthen social and health wellness after discussing with Dianne Urquhart of the Ottawa Social Planning Council  https://www.spcottawa.on.ca/ and attending a community meeting, how:  people are strengthening their own community, neighbourhood and work settings.

CDF-final_opt crop

Individual practice – care and support can chip at at strengthening individual’s connections in multiple and various forms to their communities.  How to embed, prioritize this approach in everyday practice beyond chipping, is not so easy as we negotiate layers of what is involved with Community Mental Health, Recovery practice but the formal framework  and Community Development guidelines help.

Community Development Framework (CDF) brings together residents, community organizations, and city services in priority neighbourhoods across Ottawa. Together, we:

  • Identify local community issues and strengths.
  • Decide on the changes the community wants to make and set goals.
  • Build on neighbourhood strengths, and develop skills and support to make the changes happen.
    • Some goals require change at a level beyond the influence of the local community (for example traffic calming or access to affordable and nutritious food). An important aspect of the CDF approach is to support the “systems” level (i.e. community agencies and institutions) to address those concerns at a city-wide level.


Guiding Principles for
Community Development Practice

Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres
Community Developers Network
February 2018

II. Guiding Principles for Community Development Practice
The importance of clarity regarding guiding principles became increasingly evident as this work
unfolded. The overall connection is the resulting impact on community change. This work is
grounded in over-arching principles of social change and requires foundational supports to provide
the infrastructure capacity for CD practice.

The framework below highlights four core principles that define the work of CD.
 Challenging Systemic Inequity & Power Dynamics & Supporting Empowerment
 Responsive to Community
 Transformational Practice
 Partnership & Collaboration

These principles are strongly inter-related and as such are used in all CD activities. Depending on
the activity, one principle may have a greater focus, but the other principles are still considered
when planning the most appropriate approach.

 The principles guideline for community developers can be found here: https://cdfcdc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/FINAL-Guiding-Principles-for-Comm-Dev-english-Nov-19.pdf

Learn more at the Community Development website: https://cdfcdc.ca/

Dennis McPherson presentation to Lakehead University law school, “Indian on the Lawn, thirty years of reflection”

This presentation to the Lakehead University Law School, dean search committee, by candidate Dennis McPherson delves in depth, on research of the role of Law/Education and Indigenous Peoples, is worth an hour of your time if you are seeking to address the ideas of reconciliation.

See the video of the presentation hereTinyURL.com/y445rzc3

Background on:

Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Decanal Search

Lakehead University is conducting an extensive Search for the Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, to take office by July 2019 and invites expressions of interest, applications and nominations.

The Search for the Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is well underway and we are welcoming two candidates on campus next week.

As part of the selection process, there will be an opportunity for interested persons to attend a Public Presentation with each candidate.

Learn more here: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/faculty-and-staff/departments/services/provost-vice-president-academic/decanal-faculty-opportunities/bora-laskin-faculty-of-law-decanal-search


Article on mental health system development bridges client care with: “remediation, restoration and reconnection”

A useful article to guide system reorganization that advances the recovery model – where acute care systems meet rehabilitation systems.  This article which summarizes much of our talk of system change over recent years, will help put substance to new health group plans emerging here in Ontario,… I think, guess, … hope.

Remediation of functioning – reinstating a sense of possibility

…To ensure that the client’s investment of hope is well placed, it is essential that there is a full understanding of their strengths, protective factors and possible risks. As with physical rehabilitation, care needs to be exercised as the events and triggers that precipitated the relapse are brought into sharp focus by an approaching discharge. The need for care is also reinforced by the knowledge that a successful resolution of positive symptoms does not necessarily indicate a return to pre-episode functioning. A thorough assessment is required to develop a supportive, individually tailored, multi-modal skill building program, which may be provided in combination with other treatments; a point highlighted in a recent review by Lyman et al. [86].

The need for a holistic plan, which supports hope through a range of strategies that build confidence and competencies and addresses vulnerabilities, underscores the importance of the early involvement of rehabilitation specialists. While this phase will generally be led by acute MH services …

by: Barry G. FrostSrinivasan TirupatiSuzanne JohnstonMegan TurrellTerry J. LewinEmail authorKetrina A. Sly and Agatha M. Conrad

BMC PsychiatryBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201717:22


See article here: https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-1164-3

ODSP and Ontario Welfare budget impacts explained

From the Income Security Advoacy Centre http://incomesecurity.org/

Ontario Budget 2019 Announces $1 Billion in OW and ODSP Cuts

– Massive Cuts to Legal Aid Funding Also Announced –

The 2019/2020 Ontario Budget was announced today, and creates even more uncertainty for people who receive benefits from the Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) system.

While the Budget is short on details about changes to social assistance, it confirms many of the reforms that government has already announced. What is new is the government’s forecast of $1 billion in savings from these reforms:

“Reforming the social assistance system by simplifying the rate structure, reducing administration, cutting unnecessary rules, and providing greater opportunities to achieve better employment outcomes for social assistance recipients, resulting in estimated annual savings of over $1 billion at maturity” (p.9).  …

Please go to their site: http://incomesecurity.org/public-education/ontario-budget-2019-announces-1-billion-in-ow-and-odsp-cuts/


Aging in Ottawa: An Assessment of the Age-Friendliness of Ottawa Using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

SWAG’s Monthly Community of Practice. 

Elizabeth Kristjansson

Dr. Kristjansson will present a project comparing eight cities across Canada and how they measure up as age-friendly using the CLSA data, with a specific a focus on Ottawa seniors.

The descriptive report Aging in Ottawa identifies areas on which this city should focus in order to become friendlier toward older populations (and indeed, everyone), such as transportation, housing, social participation, social inclusion, civic participation, and community support and health services.

She will dig into the CLSA data available on the social needs of seniors in Ottawa as well as the strengthens and limitations of the report findings.
Dr Kristjansson will also explore the CLSA as a data source and how social workers can access the data as practitioners and researchers.

Thursday April 25th 3:30 to 5PM, Colonel By Retirement Residence, 43 Aylmer Avenue (parallel to Sunnyside near Bank street)

A pep talk to develop the “will” to shift policy from shelters, to housing people

While not news for anyone working in the homelessness sector of support and care, Mitchell Katz bolsters at least my own courage and better still multi level community, government policy focus to shift the shelter focus of homelessness.

the intersection of housing and health

Please see the interview herehttps://www.tvo.org/video/an-urban-homelessness-crusader