The CRG wants to hear from you!
The Toronto Mental Health and Addictions Access Point
Dear fellow consumers/service users,
We are writing you today to share information and update you on the work of the Consumer Reference Group (CRG) of The Toronto Mental Health and Addictions Access Point. The CRG provides input and advice to The Access Point from the perspective of people with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues with the system.
You may or may not know, that The Access Point is the centralized access, one-application process, for housing and individual support services (e.g., case management or assertive community treatment) for service users. If you are looking for housing or mental health or addiction supports, this is the place you would contact. It was set up in July 2014 through an integration of Access 1 (individual support services) and CASH (supportive housing) to become The Access Point. Today, The Access Point screens and assesses applications for eligibility determination. There is some peer support and limited access to short-term services as well.
The goal of creating this single contact is to improve people’s experience of accessing services. But, yes, wait lists are very long and wait times vary depending on the type of housing applied for (boarding homes, shared living environments, self-contained units), and the level of support required (24 hour support, daily support, weekly support etc). High support housing and self-contained units are the longest wait, with up to 10 years and a shared room in a boarding home is the shortest and could be 2-3 months.
The application is lengthy and applying online can be a discouraging process. So there are discussions happening on continuing to improve the service and the processes. The Toronto Central and Central LHINs (funders of mental health and addiction services) will be consulting with the community in the New Year.
The CRG tries to bring the experience and voice of service users to The Access Point. We began a process of communication this past summer 2015 with a small presentation and feedback session with consumer and peer leads from member agencies that get referrals from The Access Point. We want to continue communicating. What we also need is feedback from consumer/survivor advocates to let us know what more can be done towards inclusion of the voices of service users in the process of system change. Remember, the system needs to be designed by the people who use it the most !
Feel free to email us any questions or your comments.
Project Admin and Outreach Manager
Consumer Reference Group Service User Education Project
Phone: Lucy Costa at 416 535-8501 Ext. 33013