A unique idea
A community of practice is defined as a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better by interacting regularly. And this describes the Addictions & Mental Health Network of Champlain (AMHNC) to a T. Unlike any other LHIN-related committee or network across Ontario, equal representation from all four sectors — Addiction Services, Mental Health Services, Family Caregivers and Clients — is part of the Network’s foundation. It is what sets us apart.
The responsibility of the Network is to provide guidance and balanced direction, for those seeking to improve the Addiction and Mental Health System within the Champlain LHIN. In doing so we strive to set an example to the remainder of the Ontario in how various sectors can sustain a better relationship to improve the system for all. The role of the Network will change over time to reflect the needs of its members, but the core principles of respect and cooperation will remain the same.
That the Champlain region’s addiction and mental health services provide hope and dignity, foster recovery and set the standard of care for the province of Ontario.
To carry out our roles and responsibilities in a manner that reflects and fosters: transparency; integrity; trust; respect; inclusiveness; responsiveness; and accountability.
To actively pursue collaborative opportunities that help to ensure the Champlain region’s addiction and mental health system is evidence-based and truly client and family centred
how the amhnc meets its mandate
One of the cornerstones of our meetings is the opportunity to expand our knowledge and learn from each other. For example, in recent months, we’ve looked at: the growing opioid crisis from the perspective of the medical community, addiction services and an addict; Ontario’s new structured psychotherapy program; our LHIN’s only nurse practitioner-led clinic and the innovative way it provides diagnosis and care for those with mental health concerns; and brain plasticity, as it applies to mental health and addictions.Periodically, we also hold a “show & tell” event to showcase what our members have been up to… and foster more in-depth, one-on-one conversations.
client & family
To help us fulfill our role as an agent for systemic change, the AMHNC is supported by the Client Advisory Committee of Champlain (CACC) and the Family Advisory Committee (FAC). Together, they provide ongoing advice, informed discourse, lived experience and a deep empathy with the challenges faced by addicts and those using mental health services our region. These two bodies meet independently on a regular basis and send representatives to the AMHNC table. If you would like more information on either group, visit their web sites: www.fac-champlain.ca or www.cacc.ca
The family and client groups have also demonstrated their commitment to improving the system at a grassroots level. Out of the Ashes We Rise, the brainchild of the CACC, is an inspiring collection stories of hope and recovery. And their “warm feet, warm hearts” campaign distributes fresh pairs of socks (that include key public service messages) to Ottawa’s homeless population. Likewise, the FAC undertook an in-depth study of the region’s discharge planning practices and provided recommendations for low-cost enhancements. The group also produced the Roller Coaster Guide to Recovery to help families, clients and service providers navigate Champlain’s addictions and mental health system.
Suzanne Filion, Ph.D.