Building partnerships to care
Letter from the Board Chair
It has been a year of exciting change, with The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre’s (HDC) integration with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on February 1, 2017. The newly-named SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (CCMH) and SickKids have joined together in a shared vision: to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children and youth with complex mental health needs.
Since its inception, HDC has developed a wide range of interprofessional services and customized care for children, youth, and families, including: counselling and therapy; intensive in-home support; and community-based prevention and education programs that focus on the unique needs of our younger clients and their families. SickKids works with more acutely-affected paediatric patients with mental health needs, providing crisis and stabilization services, structured short-term treatment services, and specialized services for children and youth with both medical and mental health complexities. We know that by working together we can align and co-ordinate our continuum of services, extend our impact, and combine our joint expertise to enhance evidence-based mental health service delivery, education, and research.
Working together and building on our existing expertise, as CCMH, we will focus on prevention, treatment, research, and education. Through our community treatment centres, Gail Appel Institute, and our community partnerships, we are well-positioned to do just that.
We hope, over time, to improve the models we currently use in our approaches to both physical and mental health.
For much of the year covered by this annual report, HDC was under the leadership of Donna Duncan as its former President and CEO. I would like to thank Donna for her outstanding leadership, her unrelenting focus on what is best for our children, youth and families, and for being such an amazing partner as we worked towards this integration. A special thanks is also due to all of you who contributed to the process and participated in our community engagement meetings in advance of the integration. Your feedback was incredibly valuable, and will continue to guide us in our journey. And, thank you to all of you reading this report right now for your long-standing support of HDC.
Currently in Canada, one in five children under 18 will experience a mental health disorder; of these, one in six can access the help that they need. We need to improve these numbers. Under our new banner, we will boldly forge a new model of more seamless care for our most vulnerable mental health clients, and get them the right care at the right place at the right time. We will increase our evidence-based treatment options through ongoing research. And we will train the next generation of mental health professionals. Through our integration, and in partnership with the community, we will be able to achieve more.
Dr. Michael Apkon
Chair, Board of Trustees
SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health
Letter from Leadership
Creating a seamless mental health care system for our children and youth
The past year has been one of enthusiasm and optimism as we embark on this exciting joint venture between SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (CCMH) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). With both organizations committed to improving clinical treatment and system service delivery to children, youth and families, the CCMH and SickKids collaboration launches an important opportunity to align and co-ordinate our services to create a more seamless and effective model of care delivery.
Many children, youth, and families experience a fragmented system of care where acute services, mental health interventions, and customized models that address the complexity of their children’s needs are difficult to access in a coordinated fashion. We recognize the need to link and bridge care from short-term crisis intervention to more intensive long-term treatments. We envision seamless transitions both within and between hospital and community-based services and a system where there is a clear point of entry into care with defined care pathways leading to better outcomes.
In support of this vision, CCMH will continue to offer prevention, early intervention, and a range of treatment modalities: outpatient, day treatment, and intensive in-home and residential services. Our current prevention services offer educational programs for parents, with the goal of helping parents to feel comfortable talking to their children about mental health. It also means educating first-contact communities, like teachers and childcare workers who see children on a regular basis, so they can identify potential mental health problems early, to get timely intervention.
But early intervention means little if there is a long wait for more intensive services. Our goal is to improve access to our services to ensure that children and families benefit from timely resources and interventions and to link them to other community resources that may be important to their child’s overall health and mental health, including at SickKids. We will provide a more co-ordinated care and treatment experience, supporting children and youth and their families as they transition between hospital-based and community care services, matching resources to their level of need.
Additionally, through the Gail Appel Institute, we will continue to offer educational courses to our external professional stakeholders, recognizing that our ongoing commitment to professional development remains a high priority for our organization.
Working with SickKids and our community partners, we have begun an important journey to improve access to quality mental health services and support the advancement of the mental health sector, which plays such a vital role in our community. It has been an exciting and productive year and we look forward to making further progress in the year ahead.
Brain and Mental Health Program, SickKids
Dr. Tony Pignatiello
Dr. Peter Szatmari
Chief, Child & Youth Mental Health Collaborative
Department of Psychiatry, SickKids
Vice-President Education & Academic Practice, SickKids
Lead Executive, Gail Appel Institute