The Consumer Reference Group
The Access Point has an advisory committee called the Consumer Reference Group (CRG). Consumer input is integral to ensuring The Access Point reflects and addresses the needs of the people it seeks to serve. The Consumer Reference Group is responsible for the provision of advice and guidance to The Access Point, its lead Agency and its Coordinator. Involvement in the Consumer Reference Group requires attendance at quarterly meetings (4 times a year). (See terms of reference below for more detail).
News from the CRG
Members of The Access Point Consumer Reference Group learn and contribute to the rapid changes taking place in the mental health system in the Toronto area. Topics that have been reviewed include:
- Plans by the system on how to make specific groups of people top priority for housing and services
- Results showing how long people are waiting for housing and challenges in providing the type of places that people want to live in
- Brainstorming ideas developed by system planners to improve the way people apply for services
- Results of client satisfaction surveys of people’s experience using The Access Point services
Future topics to consider are:
- Regular updates on results for waiting times for housing and individual services through The Access Point
- How other system reforms, like Health Links, will have an impact upon people applying for community mental health services
The CRG wants to connect with other groups of consumers to learn from each other and be better able to contribute to system change that works for consumers.
The Access Point is a network of many community and hospital mental health organizations across Toronto. Many of these have advisories or other ways that consumers/clients/tenants provide feedback on services. If you’re a member of a client advisory group, we invite you to connect with the CRG. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumer Reference Group -Terms of Reference (developed July, 2014)
The Access Point is the coordinated access for community mental health and addiction supportive housing and individual mental health supports (case management and assertive community treatment teams) in the city of Toronto funded through the MOHLTC/LHINs. The creation of The Access Point was inspired, in part, by the vision of people with mental health and addiction issues to increase access to person-centred, high quality, and equitable services to support them in their recovery. The Consumer Reference Group (CRG) is one of the ways that The Access Point strives to reflect and address the needs of the people it serves.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Provide consultation to the Integrated Access Steering Committee, Lead Agencies (Toronto North Support Services and LOFT Community Services), and Director on the work of The Access Point services from the perspective of people with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues.
- Support the accountability of The Access Point to people with mental health and addiction issues by contributing to the service’s ongoing performance management, including an annual review.
- Demonstrate accountability to the broader communities of people with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues, inclusive of those who experience multiple systemic barriers to accessing equitable supports through open communication.
- Develop an annual workplan and engage in evaluation of the work of the Consumer Reference Group.
The CRG will have two Co-Chairpersons who will be selected by the members of the CRG from among the membership.
- Co-chairpersons will serve a term of 2 years.
- The Director for The Access Point office will act in a consultant and support role.
Membership will be 10-12 individuals;
- Living with mental illness and/or addiction issues, and/or with experience using mental health/addiction services.
- Inclusive of the diversity of the community of people with lived experience of mental illness and/or addiction issues including those who experience multiple experiences of systemic barriers to accessing equitable services.
- Members will serve a term of two years, with an option to renew, for a maximum of six years total.
- Members will be selected by the CRG.
- The Consumer Members of the Integrated Access Steering Committee will be members of the CRG and act as liaison and reporting from the CRG to the Integrated Access Steering Committee.
- One representative will be The Access Point Office Director.
- One or two representatives may be Peer Recovery Facilitators who are staff of The Access Point Office.
- Members will be remunerated for their time and travel related to attending scheduled meetings of the CRG according to The Access Point office’s policy.
- Members of the CRG will respect the confidentiality of The Access Point’s activities.
- The CRG may create time-limited working groups decided upon by the full membership at a scheduled meeting.
- Working-groups will provide the results of their specific task or project to the full CRG membership at a scheduled meeting for discussion and/or approval.
- Meetings will be held five times per year in person at The Access Point office.
- Committee members are expected to attend meetings and participate in the best interests of the Access Point service and the consumers and families it serves. Members who are unable to attend a scheduled meeting are expected to contact The Access Point Director or Peer Recovery Facilitator with their regrets in advance of the meeting.
- Meetings will be considered valid when 50% (+1) of all current members are present.
- Decisions will be made by the CRG by majority vote.
- Minutes of all meetings will be recorded by staff of The Access Point Office and be distributed to the members and be available on The Access Point website.
- Only one subject or question will be before the group at one time.
- Each item presented for consideration is entitled to full and free debate although the Co-Chairs have the right to limit speakers to a reasonable number and amount of speaking opportunities each.
- Speakers must be courteous in their language and deportment, and avoid making reference or assigning motives to individual members.
- The Consumer Reference Group will report through the Consumer Representatives of the Integrated Access Steering Committee to the Steering Committee.
- The CRG will conduct an annual self-evaluation.
- The CRG will support the work of The Access Point to evaluate consumer experience with Access Point services and consumer involvement in all aspects of the service.
How to contact the CRG? If you would like more information about the CRG or have some feedback, you can email us at email@example.com