Breaking down Barriers to Care: Transforming the System Response to Mental Health

Nov. 24, 2016

FSTVIn order to create change we must do things that have never been done before. We must embrace uncertainty and think outside of the box. This is exactly what Family Service Thames Valley is doing with its new project: Transforming the System Response to Mental Health through Cross-Sector Collaboration. *This grant has transformed into an official drop-in service called INsite.

With the help of a $377,070 Community Vitality grant, Family Service Thames Valley and its partners (Sexual Assault Centre London, Craigwood Youth Services, Women’s Rural Resource Centre, Vanier, and WAYS Mental Health Support) are changing the way mental health care services are delivered in our community. Through the creation of a whole-life, rotating walk-in clinic, the project will ensure that all individuals across the life span, get the help they need when they need it.

Through collaboration, coordination and strategic relationships, the partners involved will be able to leverage their collective expertise and resources to create a more integrated and responsive system. The creation of a mobile clinic will ensure accessibility is not a barrier to seeking help. Meeting people in their communities will increase access to provide integrated service to children, youth, and adults under one roof. Furthermore, a clinic that addresses the entire lifespan will ensure that no one falls through the cracks, especially during critical transition years. Increased coordination and collaboration between organizations will ensure clients get the help they need, without being bounced around from service provider to service provider.

Currently, no similar initiative exists in our community. What exists are separate pieces of the mental health service and delivery puzzle. Our mental health system works in silos, which makes it difficult and frustrating for many individuals and families to navigate. This project will develop a cross-sector approach that breaks down silos and identifies the strategic levers that shift the way we support and respond to children and adults with mental health issues. A rotating, all-ages walk-in clinic will address service gaps and also bring organizations together to figure out how to work more effectively across agencies and sectors.

Part of transforming mental health is understanding that there is a continuum of services required to come together, to connect, to collaborate, to leverage their resources and address that entire continuum.”- Louise Pitre, Executive Director, Family Service Thames Valley