Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

UPDATE Mental Health and Addictions Strategy- October 23, 2017

Thank you to all of the stakeholders, including people and families with lived experience, who have participated in the various consultations since June. Your stories, perspectives and expertise have been invaluable. Thank you also to all of the stakeholders that have sent us more than 275 best practice and gap analysis reports that continue to be reviewed. The majority of the consultations have now been completed and the project team is now in the data collection and analysis phase.

Interviews and Consultations:

Since June 2017:

  • Dr. Rush and his team have had more than 80 scheduled meetings since June 2017 in many locations across the province including: Winnipeg, St. Norbert, Winkler, Interlake, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Sagkeeng First Nation, Thompson and The Pas.
  • These meetings involved individual and group discussions with health authorities, private- and grant-funded mental health and addiction service providers, Indigenous populations, other government sectors, persons/ families with lived experience, newcomer/refugee services and touched on the continuum of services across the lifespan from prevention to acute severity and harm reduction .
  • Hundreds of people were interviewed during the process.  

Since October 2017:

  • More than 600 individuals were invited to twelve (12) validation events that focussed discussion with many individuals who were part of the previous interviews and consultations, in addition to new stakeholders.
  • The goal of these events was to confirm with stakeholders that Dr. Rush and his team heard their key messages accurately. In addition, Virgo used the exercise to gauge the state of readiness of the system to implement potential improvements and changes in the future. The feedback will be used to help form recommendations that are realistic and also take into account other important context.
  • Audiences included: representatives from the child and youth mental health and addiction service system, persons and families with lived experience, the formal mental health and addiction system, grant funded and private service sector, newcomer/refugee services and public, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, cross-sectoral government departments, Indigenous populations, primary health are, regulatory bodies such as the colleges and more.   

Patients with Lived Experience and Provider Surveys

  • Online surveys for both persons/families with lived experience and health care providers were available from Sept. 18 to Oct. 13, 2017 for service providers, the public and persons/families with lived experience.
  • We received an overwhelming response, and half of the surveys were completed by the public. We are very pleased with this response and survey results will help guide the recommendations for the strategy.

Going Forward

  • After confirming “what we heard” with stakeholders recently, Virgo will spend the next few months collecting population data, health data and service utilization data while continuing their analysis of documents provided, consultations, validation events and survey data. This will help the consultants identify Manitoba’s current picture in terms of service access and coordination to mental health and addiction services. This next step is essential before any recommendations can be developed. 

Improving access and coordinating Manitoba's broad continuum of services and supports is critical in addressing mental illness and addiction in our province.

conversation [image]Manitoba is undertaking the development of a focused provincial Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) strategy to look at ways to improve mental health and addictions services.

Consultation Process

VIRGO Planning and Evaluation Consultants Inc. has been contracted to support the development of a strategic plan. The team is being led by Dr. Brian Rush, with co-lead Adair Roberts, and includes consultants Dr. Amy Cheung, April Furlong, Jonathan Ramirez, Peter Butt and Dr. Chris Mushquash.

Dr. Rush and his team will build on the various reports, analysis and other documents already conducted within the province. The previous reports, combined with the additional consultation methods will inform the current state report. The process will also include:

  • Literature and Evidence Review
  • Review of current state documents
  • Current state consultations and site-visits
  • Online surveys
  • Data review
  • Planning events

In addition, consultations with health providers and other agencies that provide services and supports are taking place in each of the province's health regions to explore access and coordination of mental health and addiction services. In addition to general mental health and addictions systems, each consultation period includes a specific emphasis to capture the diversity of experiences.