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All Annual Reports

2017 – 2018

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Looking forward with our new strategic plan

Message from Board Chair

Photo of Michael Apkon

Dear friends,

This first full year of the integration between The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (SickKids CCMH) has brought a lot of successful change to the way we provide mental health services across the continuum of care. To name a few, we’ve:

  • Developed more integrated pathways for referrals from hospital to community and community to hospital: over 20 patients this year have been part of an enhanced transition process from or to community services. We will continue to grow this area in the coming years.
  • Leveraged an expanded team of experts: SickKids CCMH staff have called upon SickKids expertise on managing complex care cases (clients with physical and mental health needs), while SickKids staff have worked together with SickKids CCMH to transition hospital patients into community or home care. This has enabled us to leverage each other’s expertise to provide the best care for our clients.
  • Developed a new strategic plan (see below): The plan will propel our shared vision forward as we continue to improve quality of care and outcomes for children and youth with mental health needs together.

Moving into the future with our new strategic plan

This past winter and spring, we held several engagement sessions, asking clients, families, caregivers, managers, and staff what we needed to prioritize at SickKids CCMH to accelerate our impact in the field of mental health and improve access to care over the next two years. Building on the current strategic plan and principles at SickKids, and our stakeholder input and community priorities, we arrived at our new strategic plan and purpose statement: “Committed to our Community, Building Connections, Accelerating Impact.”

SickKids Centre CCMH graphic with Committed to out Community; Building Connections; Accelerating Impact

Our stakeholder input was organized into several themes, which were incorporated into the plan and strategy map, below. The map provides an overview of the six strategic areas of our strategic plan, mirroring the keys areas of the SickKids plan.

SickKids CCMH Strategy Map Quality, Infrastructure, Health System, Innovation, People, Finance
SickKids CCMH Strategy Map

We realize that in our partnership with SickKids, and the alignment of our strategic plans, we are in a rare position to help our most vulnerable children and youth. Through our integration we will be able to achieve much more than either of us could achieve alone and we can enhance the entire mental health continuum of care in our community, working towards our goal of building a seamless model of care.

Dr. Michael Apkon
Chair, Board of Trustees
SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health
For the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health Board

Providing quality mental health services to more children and youth

Message from the Executive Director

Christina Bartha, Brain and Mental Health Program, SickKids

Our goal at SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (SickKids CCMH) is simple: to provide quality mental health services to more children and youth.

To achieve this goal, we are streamlining our processes and strengthening our model of care. We are building partnerships and engaging the full continuum of services between The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), our centre and our service partners in the community. We are making tremendous progress, improving our quality, serving more clients and reducing wait times.

Most of the mental health care we provide is based in the community and we are working together with SickKids to create smooth transitions between hospital and community-based care. This past year saw the development of integrated care pathways, with patients being referred from SickKids directly into SickKids CCMH services, such as Day Treatment and Outpatient. SickKids CCMH, in turn, has referred clients to SickKids in such areas as Urgent Care, Chronic Care, and the Day Program in Psychiatry. Staff from across various departments both at the hospital and the community sites are working together to provide care at the right place and the right time for our clients and patients.

The staff and clinicians at SickKids CCMH have also been directly involved in enhancing our model of care. These include enabling us to collect assessment and outcome data electronically; introducing more clinical service offerings to address wait times in our Outpatient services; working diligently to improve safety in our Day Treatment services; enhancing our behaviour management skills and processes in Intensive services; and ensuring our Residential services are more optimally utilized.

Enhancing our data

We have now implemented a new process around Intake and Assessment that leverages technology from SickKids. With our improved data gathering processes we have improved data quality as well, enabling us, for the first time, to track continually our clinical outcomes from the initial call up to discharge. It also informed the development of our new quality improvement plan (to launch later this fall) – another first of its kind for a community-based mental health provider.

Investing in our infrastructure

Complementing these efforts has been the visible evidence of investment in our infrastructure at our two city sites, Sheppard and Jarvis, including computer upgrades, new signage, painting, flooring, fencing, security features, and the gymnasium at the Jarvis site. The upgrades to our physical spaces gives our clients the message that mental health matters, and that they matter.

Educating and training professionals near and far

The former Gail Appel Institute is also looking at improving the quality and accessibility of their training. Now integrated with the SickKids Learning Institute, it has a new name: SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health Learning Institute. The institute is building capacity among mental health professionals providing care in the community and trained over 1,300 professionals this past year. The new strategy at the institute will see the reach of their training grow across the city, province, and the country, sharing their expertise with professionals near and far through remote technologies.

Improving care through our new strategic plan

We engaged many stakeholders to develop our strategic plan for the future and we seem to be moving in the right direction. The World Health Organization has prioritized mental health and predicts that by 2030 – only 12 years away – mental health will be the leading cause of disability worldwide. We have seen our referral rates go up and while this reflects the concerning need for service across all populations, it also reflects something hopeful: that many more people are willing to reach out for mental health services, and that we are overcoming the long-standing stigma associated with mental health conditions. We will look to our new strategic plan to guide us in enhancing quality, supporting the health system, invest in our infrastructure and people, continue to innovate and maintain our financial accountability and together we will contribute to serving our patients’ needs. I also share in the optimism of my colleague, Dr. Peter Szatmari, in that there is sense of collaboration in the area of clinical delivery of mental health services for children and youth like never before. The difference we can make in the lives of our clients and patients is truly limitless.

Christina Bartha
Executive Director
Brain and Mental Health Program, SickKids
and SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health
For the Senior Leadership Team, SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health

Leading the way in mental health training and education

Message from the Lead Executive, SickKids CCMH Learning Institute

Pam Hubley

At SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (CCMH) Learning Institute, we strive to be leaders in education and training by advancing best-practices in the treatment of mental health, and this year was no exception. In 2017-18, SickKids CCMH Learning Institute provided training to 1,300 professionals and delivered over 90 courses onsite and across Ontario.

With our recent integration with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Learning Institute, we have new leadership and a new strategic plan. It has been an important year for us as we reflected on our significant achievements, and leveraged the opportunity to confirm our vision for the future.

New leadership and our new name

In February, we were pleased to have Angela Kaushal join the team as Director of SickKids CCMH Learning Institute. Angela brings a passion for learning and experience in the mental health sector. She brings creative energy and inspired leadership to our collective efforts. In addition to new leadership, it was with great enthusiasm that we have rebranded ourselves: we are now known as the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health Learning Institute. This new name reflects our integration with SickKids Learning Institute while strengthening our alignment to SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (SickKids CCMH). Under this new name, we will maintain the long-standing Hincks-Dellcrest Institute (HDI) commitment to advancing best practices through mental health education.

New strategic plan

This year also marked the launch of the 2017-20 SickKids CCMH Learning Institute Strategic Plan, outlining six key strategic directions and some specific goals and priorities that will raise the bar of training and education, strengthen the SickKids CCMH Learning Institute identity, and broaden our reach and impact – locally, nationally and internationally. Our strategic plan aligns our work with the SickKids Learning Institute, as well as with SickKids CCMH. The future is bright for SickKids CCMH Learning Institute as we enhance our course offerings, identify opportunities to leverage and promote the knowledge and skills of existing faculty, build talent among the clinicians of SickKids CCMH and the mental health community at large, broaden our reach through the use of online educational offerings, strengthen our identity in the community and refine our business model. 

mockup of 2017 - 2020 strategic plan

Broadening our reach

As we look to the near future, we are excited to be working closely with SickKids Learning Institute to enhance and diversify our education offerings to include online courses and webinar training, with our first webinar training set to launch in the winter of 2018. This inclusion of eLearning will allow professionals across the globe to access our leading-edge courses and enhance our global impact within the mental health community.

Enhanced course catalogue and quality assurance

A core value and commitment of SickKids CCMH Learning Institute is to ensure professionals can be confident that they are receiving the most relevant, current and evidence-based mental health training available. This year we reviewed all of our educational offerings and analyzed each of them for relevance, alignment with clinical and academic priorities of the mental health community and impact. As a result of this review, we are pleased to announce an enhanced 2018/19 course catalogue, including more than 20 new courses focusing on best practices in the treatment of mental health for children, youth and adults. The team continues to evaluate and refine the quality assurance process to ensure regular rigorous review of all course offerings.

Advisory committee

Recently we launched our SickKids CCMH Learning Institute Advisory Board to provide a forum for key community partners to provide strategic guidance and leadership to us. This group will help us identify the learning needs of professionals within the community mental health sector so we can be responsive and timely in course delivery. They will also inform us on key decisions that will benefit from stakeholder insights and partner with us to strengthen the identity and awareness of our Institute’s mandate and services to meet diverse needs locally, nationally and internationally.

Final words

We look forward to another exciting year of growth and innovation. Building from a solid foundation and excellent reputation of the former HDI, the new SickKids CCMH Learning Institute promises to offer exceptional learning experiences that support providers and families focused on delivering excellent mental health care to children and their families. 

Pam Hubley
Vice President Education & Academic Practice, SickKids
Lead Executive, SickKids CCMH Learning Institute

Audited Financial Statements