Toronto, July 21, 2011: On June 29th, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care initiated negotiations regarding the divestment of the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (PPAO) to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario Division (CMHA-Ontario). This was commenced by the MOHLTC without consultation, or public announcement.
The PPAO was created as an advocate to protect and promote the rights of Ontarians with mental health and addiction issues. It has made significant contributions to mental health and addictions by meeting the advocacy needs of the vulnerable and historically disadvantaged constituency on both a systemic and individual basis. Rights advisors with the PPAO provide rights advice to persons experiencing involuntary detention, forced treatment and other restrictions of their liberty in most of the Province’s psychiatric facilities. The PPAO is also the only agency that offers training to outside rights advisors across the Province. Rights advice is also provided to individuals living in the community who are the subject of community treatment orders (CTO’s).
The Coalition for an Independent Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (CIPPAO) is demanding that this decision be rescinded. The Coalition is represented by a number of consumer/survivor groups, patient councils, family councils, advocates, lawyers and legal clinics. The Coalition, along with the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and other consumer groups are advocating for the independence of the PPAO.
Please see the link to the CIPPAOs website: http://www.cippao.com/
CMHA-Ontario has been informed by the Ministry that the PPAO mandate must remain unchanged under their care. Currently, CMHA-Ontario is looking at ways to ensure that the PPAO remains a program focused on rights protection and systemic advocacy.
Presently, the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs supports an independent PPAO.
To view the different positions, please see the attached documents:
(a) Letter from Patricia Li, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to the CIPPAO
(b) Statement from the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
(c) Steve Lurie’s Letter to the Toronto Star in response to Carol Goar’s article “Ontario takes a backward step on mental health”
(d) Position Statement for CIPPAO
(e) Q&A document from CMHA-Ontario on the Transfer of the PPAO
OFCMHAP brings together community mental health and addiction services in the province of Ontario to help members provide effective, high-quality services through information sharing, education, advocacy and unified effort.
To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact:
Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs
|Provincial Advocate Children and Youth.pdf||552.02 KB|
|Steve Lurie response.pdf||10.17 KB|
|CIPPAO Position.pdf||67.15 KB|