Update on: Mayor’s Roundtable on Mental Health and Addictions
North Bay, ON – Oct. 31, 2019 – Work is well underway on the three priorities set at the Mayor’s Roundtable on Mental Health and Addictions on Sept. 11, including a survey to capture the ideas and thoughts of people with lived experience and those living in poverty.
In September, 30 community leaders gathered for a Roundtable on Mental Health and Addictions at the invitation of North Bay Mayor Al McDonald. The group was charged with identifying gaps in the community related to mental health and addiction services, poverty reduction, and homelessness, and coming up with an Action Plan to address these gaps.
Three priorities were set at the roundtable:
- Develop Transitional Housing: Work with partners to meet the needs of homeless people and people transitioning out of hospital or residential treatment programs.
- Implement Needs-Based Planning: Work collaboratively to implement the recommendations of a needs based assessment done on North Bay’s addictions services.
- Create Community Supports 24/7: Work collectively to address the evening and nighttime gap in services (between 5 pm and 9 am).
Following the meeting, the Mayor’s Roundtable Action Team began working with partners in the community on these priorities.
At the same time, the Action Team wanted to ensure the priorities also resonated with those most in need of the services, including people with lived experience, people living in poverty and the homeless. In order to capture these voices, People for Equal Partnership in Mental Health (PEP) and the AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area, along with other service providers are bringing a short survey to their clients this week, which looks to further refine and validate the priorities.
The results of this survey as well as a draft Action Plan to address the priorities will be shared at the next Roundtable meeting on November 26.
“Poverty, mental illness and addiction are some of the toughest challenges that municipalities are facing today. We are committed to working with all of our community partners and senior levels of government to help ensure our most vulnerable residents get the support they need.”
– North Bay Mayor Al McDonald
“This group has accomplished a tremendous amount of work over a very short period of time and has demonstrated a deep commitment to ensuring that these priorities are realized. We will continue working together to build on existing programs and services and to help strengthen supports for people in the community living with mental health issues and addictions.”
– Mary Davis, Co-chair of the Roundtable and Executive Director of Nipissing Mental Health Housing and Support Services