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A Year of Inspiration Annual General Report 2013 | 2014

Annual General Report 2013 | 2014

Contents 1.0

Message from the Acting CEO & Board Chair



Board of Directors



Our Vision, Mission & Values



Organizational Highlights



Advancement Committee Highlights



Accreditation Update



Financial Report Summary



Program Reports



Case Management



Crisis Response



Education & Training



First Place Clinic & Regional Resource Centre



New Foundations


Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


1.0 A Message from the Board Chair and Acting C.E.O. When we reflect on the theme of this year’s annual report, “a year of inspiration”, it brings the following words to the front of our minds: hope, encouragement, insight, motivation, and commitment. Commitment to our vision, mission and values. Motivation to continue to raise the bar and provide an even higher quality of service to the individuals we serve. Insight into how our own thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes help create an organization that is healthy, vibrant, and strong. Encouragement that we are on the right track and moving towards continued growth—and above all, hope. Hope that as an organization we will continue to grow, adapt, and reorganize ourselves in order to meet the changing needs of our community; hope that we will remain steadfast to our vision and be an organization that demonstrates inclusivity which promotes emotional well-being, human dignity, and social justice–where people are valued and opportunities in all aspects of life are available to everyone. And, finally, hope that people can and do recover from the effects of a mental illness. As board members, leadership, management, and staff, we are extremely privileged to be entrusted with holding the hopes and dreams of the people we serve in a way that encourages them to achieve the lives they desire. As we end this year and begin a new one, let’s make this a time of reflection, a time for us all to consider what has inspired us to further the vision of CMHA Thunder Bay Branch, and what will inspire us to be our best selves in the days, months, and years ahead. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the staff, management, board, community partners and above all, the people we serve, for inspiring us to continue in partnership on this amazing journey of recovery. Finally, we extend a very special thank you to CMHA’s founding CEO, Maurice Fortin. He retired this past December after more than 30 years leading the establishment of a truly recovery focused organization. Maurice has left us a legacy of inspiration and one that we will build upon in the years to come.

Sharon Pitawanakwat, Acting CEO


Linda Stewardson, Chair, Board of Directors

Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

2.0 Board of Directors Linda Stewardson Chair

Michael Lewkin Vice-Chair

Marcel Gagnon Treasurer

Robert Mawhinney

3.0 Our Mission, Vision, and Values Our Mission We are committed to supporting individual recovery and promoting mental wellness within families and communities.


Cassandra Martin Member-at-Large

Sharon Bak Director

Ken Commisso Director

Darren Roberts

Our Vision An inclusive community that promotes emotional well-being, human dignity and social justice, where people are valued and opportunities in all aspects of life are available to everyone.


Elly Tose Director

Nancy Veal Director

Mark Mikulasik Director

Ryan Lehto Director

Reese Little

We Value ›› A Client Centered Approach ›› Commitment to Recovery ›› Excellence ›› Innovation & Creativity


Christina Filazzola* Brenda Mason* * Resigned during the year. Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


4.0 Organizational Highlights May 2013: Dr. Gabor Mate spoke to more than 500 community members on how to improve their physical and mental health. His perspective enlightened and empowered people to promote healing for themselves and those around them. The event raised more than $8000 in support of our Education & Training initiatives.

August 2013: First Place Clinic & Regional Resource Centre (First Place) introduced a 16-week client Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills group, with a two-session family component and individual sessions to reinforce the skills. DBT is a mode of therapy that teaches techniques to help participants better understand their emotions, cope with difficult situations, and relate with others in healthy ways.

December 2013: CEO Maurice Fortin retired after more than 30 years with CMHA Thunder Bay Branch. Sharon Pitawanakwat was appointed Acting CEO, with Brenda Atwood filling in as Acting Director of Program Services.

February 2014: Launch of “The Transitional Housing Rehabilitation Program”(TRHP), which provides housing and life skills support to those individuals who are transitioning from the Forensics Program into the community. The THRP is a partnership between Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Cente Forensics and CMHA.

October 2013:

March 2014:

We held our 6th Annual Coffee House event during Mental Illness Awareness Week. This event, organized in partnership with Lakehead University, brought together a diverse group of artists and musicians—many of whom are working on their recovery. It was an evening of entertainment and inspiration for all who attended.

On March 23, we held an opening reception and exhibition of our latest Photovoice project: What Makes You Come Alive? Eight members of New Foundations explored this question and worked together to create 22 photographic images framed with insightful narratives. They offered new perspectives and inspiration on wellness and resiliency of the human spirit. The presentation can be viewed on YouTube:

November 2013: Nurses from First Place provided a one-day session of their Psychosis 101 training. Staff from ten local and


regional agencies attended in person or by videoconference from OTN sites in in Manitouwadge, Pic River, Kenora, and Fort Frances.

Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

5.0 Advancement Committee Highlights CMHA Thunder Bay is committed to the promotion of mental health, and strives to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Funding for activities is provided, in part, by the United Way of Thunder Bay and through our own fundraising efforts. Key events and activities for this past year included: ›› 2013 Dragon Boat Festival ›› Beaux Daddy’s Fall Feast ›› Christmas kielbasa sales from Bay Meats ›› Calendar sales from Ostrom Outdoors ›› A Poor Young Things concert at Black Pirates Pub ›› Styles & Smiles 2014 organized in partnership with Children’s Centre Foundation ›› Monthly bingos operated by dedicated Board members and community volunteers ›› Many generous donations from individuals and organizations received year round.

Without the community’s support, it would not be possible for CMHA to offer valuable training and education programs.

6.0 Accreditation Update Results Of The Accreditation Canada On-Site Survey From October 28-31, 2013, CMHA Thunder Bay Branch engaged in its second comprehensive on-site Accreditation Canada survey. The survey examines CMHA’s governance, leadership, clinical programs, and services as part of its commitment to continue to incorporate the principles of accreditation and quality improvement into its programs, policies, and practices. CMHA Thunder Bay Branch was very proud to achieve Accreditation with Commendation, granted for our compliance rating of 99.2% percent. The surveyors noted that the organization has embraced the principles of the Recovery Model as evidenced by the person centered approach to service provision. They also noted Staff members were passionate and committed to the individuals they serve, observing that “it is apparent that they are proud of the work that they do and the difference that they make in people’s lives.” Moving forward, the organization will continue to focus its improvement efforts on the development of program specific outcome measures, the use of evidence-based practices, as well as a continued focus on building cross organizational relationships.


Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

CMHA Thunder Bay Branch achieved Accreditation with Commendation, granted for a compliance rating of 99.2%

7.0 Financial Report Summary Revenue by Source (less amortization)

$5,304,695 LHIN - Health (86%) Donations/Fundraising/Grants/Other (3%) Ministry of Children’s and Social Services (4%) LHIN - Housing (6%) District Services Administration Board (1%)

Fundraising, Workshops, Donations, Dragon Boat, Gaming & Events $121,499 (Gross Earnings) Workshops (11%) Donations (28%) Dragon Boat (8%) Gaming (6%) Other - Events (Styles & Smiles) (47%)

Statement of Revenue & Expenditures April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Full Audited statements are available upon request. Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


8.0 Program Reports 8.1 Case Management Services Case Management Services offers mental health support and diversion within the court system to youth and adults. It also offers housing support and outreach to individuals in the community who are not connected to traditional services. This includes individuals who may be homeless or have serious mental health and addictions issues.

Spotlight Michelle Hopkins

Case Manager


Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

Michelle Hopkins transitioned from New Foundations into the Housing First program when it launched in 2013. The Housing First model is a minimal barrier housing service specifically designed for individuals living with concurrent mental illness, addiction, and other challenges. “My experience with CMHA inspires me to live my life with enhanced passion and purpose. It has provided me with the experience of working within the Recovery Approach, which is empowering in so many aspects of any individual’s life. I work with a diverse group of individuals who teach me everyday what Recovery means to them and the journey to their goals and dreams.”


700+ 1600+

Clients served by Homeless Outreach Program

Direct client interactions by GAPPS program


Youth and adults in Court Diversion


Individuals secured and maintained appropriate housing via Housing programs

Michelle Hopkins

I feel so grateful to work in a field that I feel passionate about and with individuals who allow me to walk beside them on their journey.

Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


8.0 Program Reports 8.2 Crisis Response Services Crisis Response Services offers mobile crisis response and 24/7 telephone services to both youth and adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Spotlight Krista Sargent

Crisis Response Worker


Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

“When the phone rings or we’re called out into the community, each call is different but every call is a crisis. No call is simple. Each time the phone rings, someone is facing something they find overwhelming. When our clients are in that heightened moment, Crisis Response is the number they dial and the Mobile Units are the ones they open their doors to. While I admire those who “own” that moment, I’m touched they feel we’re the ones who can make a difference in their lives. I’ve played a part in people living through inspirational chapters of their lives since working at CMHA. However, there was one that put everything in perspective. It was morning when the call came in. On the other end of the line, I heard a woman sobbing. The first words she was able to utter were, “I’m sorry to bother you. I’m sure this isn’t a crisis and I would hate to take time away from someone else in need. Our society nurtures a stigma about asking for help. Even in her brave moment, her heart was out for strangers and for me. The empathy within us thrives between us.”



Total of unique clients

Each time the phone rings, someone is facing something they find overwhelming... I’m touched they feel we’re the ones who can make a difference in their lives.

Krista Sargent

Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


8.0 Program Reports 8.3 Education & Training Program Education & Training offers programming that promotes wellness & recovery and provides stigma reduction initiatives through community workshops, training sessions, family groups, and online communications.

Spotlight Joanne Otte

Manager of Education and Training


Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

“Over the last 13 years at CMHA, my passion for the Recovery Approach to mental health has been fueled by client stories of empowerment, hope, and the realization of dreams. During our 2014 Photovoice exhibit, we celebrated the creative work of eight individuals who explored the question What makes you come alive? through the eye of a camera lens. This process helped them rebuild their confidence and self esteem, paving the way for transformation. I was inspired by one of the photographers who found her confidence and passion as an artist during the project. She took a risk and submitted a portfolio to Lakehead University studio arts program and was accepted. Being a witness to the power of this process has been an inspiration to me. The people I have met at CMHA have given me so much insight about recovery; we are all recovering from something. This experience taught me that the exploration of what gives our lives meaning and purpose helps us to regain the strength and resiliency to move beyond surviving to thriving and feeling alive.�


603 391 15

community members attended public presentations on Mental Health & Wellness clinicians attended Workshops and Training family members attended Family Recovery Education groups.

The people I have met at CMHA have given me so much insight about recovery; we are all recovering from something.

Joanne Otte

Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


8.0 Program Reports 8.4 First Place Clinic & Regional Resource Centre First Place Clinic and Regional Resource Centre offers community based consultation and treatment for individuals who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

Spotlight Donna Prontack

Family Care Coordinator


Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

Donna Prontack has been a Family Care Coordinator at First Place since 2009, working with families of individuals in service by providing education, support, and advocacy to aid in the recovery process of the client and their family. “For most, a first episode of psychosis is an experience that can be very frightening, presenting anxieties of both the present moment and about what their future may hold. My role is to support families by providing muchneeded information about psychosis and—most importantly—to give them the hope for the future. I have encountered a number of families who initially felt that due to their loved one’s episode, life for them would be devoid of dreams of finishing school, maintaining employment, and preserving relationships. I am fortunate to have witnessed quite the opposite for these families, seeing their family members return to their studies and complete their goals, going on to new employment and having valuable lifelong relationships. I personally feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved with a team that has helped so many people identify the strengths in their own person, rather than allowing themselves to be defined by the diagnosis of a serious mental illness.”


127 105

total clients served

client referrals


clients admitted to service


clients discharged from service


percent (%) of clients were under 18

My role is to support families by providing much-needed information about psychosis and—most importantly—to give them the hope for the future.

Donna Prontack

Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


8.0 Program Reports 8.5 New Foundations New Foundations offers a range of supports to assist people in developing skills in education, employment, housing, and social rehabilitation.

Spotlight Mike Siska

Mental Health Worker


Canadian Mental Health Association | Thunder Bay Branch

With almost 25 years at CMHA, Mike Siska has been an advocate for an inclusive community spirit for staff and clients. “A common theme I have seen in my professional career is that people want to feel like part of their community. Unfortunately, many feel disenfranchised and see no place for themselves. Our goal should be to challenge this misconception. We all have a place in making our community a better place for all.” A source of pride for Mike has been his involvement with the Dragonboat Festival. By “developing our Dragonboat team as a team of paddlers versus a group of staff, clients and volunteers,” he has demonstrated that clients have just as much to contribute to the community as their service providers. “Everyone’s journey to recovery is a unique one. In some people we see their process to recovery move along quickly and others take what some may see as smaller steps. It is most gratifying to think about the growth that happens around us every day.”


300 61 5596

program members new members

meals served

13225 total attendance days

Everyone’s journey to recovery is a unique one... It is most gratifying to think about the growth that happens around us every day.

Mike Siska

Annual General Report 2013 | 2014


Annual General Report 2013 | 2014

North West Local Health Integration Network Ministry of Children and Youth Services Ministry of Community and Social Services

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay Branch, is part of a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the mental health of individuals, families and community through advocacy, education and mental health services. Cover photo courtesy of Jennifer Hebert - Photovoice 2014.

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