Mindful Musings (Executive Director)

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Our Executive Director, George Kurzawa, will share thoughts and comments about what’s happening here at CMHA Niagara, in the community, in the healthcare system, and/or any other relevant topic related to mental health.

8 February, 2017

Keep Listening

2017-02-08T12:12:16-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

My last blog was titled "Keep Talking" and this one is Keep Listening for a reason;  I just live streamed a presentation by our Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins who has committed to : More access to therapy to help thousands of people living with conditions like anxiety and depression learn strategies to improve their mental health and be more successful in their daily lives. Up to nine hubs where young people aged 12 to 25 can receive walk-in, one-stop access to mental health and addictions services, as well as other health, social and employment [...]

24 January, 2017

Keep Talking

2017-01-24T15:52:41-05:00Categories: Campaign, Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign encourages people to "start the conversation" about mental health. Talking about the stigma of mental health helps us realize how prevalent these issues are and what we need to do to change society, and we are changing society. Talk does lead to action. Since the launch in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk Day has engaged thousands of Canadians in this dialogue. I see this dialogue continued at all levels. At the policy level, the Federal government has recommended specific mental health funding in the transfer of payments to the provinces. Provincially CMHA Ontario has specifically proposed increases [...]

14 December, 2016

How far can we stretch?

2017-01-04T09:57:41-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The 2017-2018 provincial budget consultations have begun. One of the key issues for our sector, not surprisingly, is funding. We are used to stretching resources but the rubber band will snap back on us soon if the government doesn’t treat the issue seriously. In a ten year review for the Niagara branch, the cumulative Consumer Price Index increase was 20.08%, while over those ten years our major funder, the HNHB LHIN, provided cumulative base budget increases of 10.32%. Resources shrinking at that rate implicate dire consequences for us and other agencies in the same situation. In a recent local survey, [...]

2 December, 2016

Auditor’s Report: Why Can’t We Follow Our Own Advice?

2016-12-01T13:32:23-05:00Categories: CMHA News, Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Auditor General just released a recent report regarding Child and Youth Mental Health. The report identifies a number of issues including inactivity on the previous plans. We know that mental health is an issue. We are well aware that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime and most mental health problems start in childhood and adolescence. Consequently, in June 2011 the government of Ontario launched its Comprehensive Mental Health And Addictions Strategy focusing on children and youth and spending about $190 million. In 2012 the Moving on Mental Health strategy was launched to bring [...]

17 November, 2016

Accreditation Success

2017-02-23T12:05:19-05:00Categories: CMHA News, Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Despite continuous funding pressures and increased demands for services, our Branch has shown that it can surmount all obstacles to providing quality care. We are very pleased to have achieved Accreditation with Commendation from Accreditation Canada, surpassing their high standards. Our emphasis is on continuous quality improvement and we have established a reputation for quality work that is evaluated not by peers, but by a credible third party. All of the credit goes to our very hard working Board of Directors, staff members, and clients; in particular our Client and Family Advisory Committee. Our overall score of 97.8 % of achieved [...]

24 October, 2016

The Health Accord – Why it Matters

2017-01-04T09:57:43-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|Tags: , , , , , , , |

All of the Ministers of Health including Ontario met with the Federal Minister of Health on October 18th, 2016 to discuss the Canada Health Transfer (“the Health Accord”). This is how the federal government transfers funds to the provinces to assist in paying for our healthcare. The meetings reaffirmed the importance of improving care for transitional aged youth mental health and addiction services as they move into adult systems. The ministers also discussed the need to further develop services for people living with mental illnesses and addictions. Health budgets are the largest expenditures for provincial and territorial governments but we [...]

5 October, 2016

Never Pass an Opportunity to Say Thank You

2017-01-04T09:57:43-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|

 “Never pass on an opportunity to say thank you or give recognition for a job well done” ― Mark W. Boyer Three years ago we started our Staff Appreciation Awards, frankly because Accreditation Canada standards asked for them. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t sincere about these awards. Standards are just best practice from other agencies that as Accreditation Canada members we agree to uphold. They have purpose and meaning to the culture of our agency.  It doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate each other daily. Hopefully, we say thank you at least once a day to someone we work with [...]

26 September, 2016

We’re in the Parade

2017-01-04T09:57:44-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|

This week we rode in the Niagara Wine Festival Grande Parade with our own float. Additionally, we had 34 friends, supporters, and staff members dancing to the tune of "Brave" by Sara Bareilles wearing their personal mental health issues or insecurities on their chest, literally. Written on the front of each participant was a personal saying such as “I don’t always listen," and on the back of the t-shirt a statement of forgiveness such as, “But I always care”. As the lyrics go : "Say what you wanna say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave" [...]

31 August, 2016

The Why’s of Good Health

2017-01-04T09:57:44-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|

I recently joined the Mayor’s committee in Port Colborne to identify policies and offer advice for improving the health of local citizens.  I offer my congratulations to Port Colborne and its councillors for undertaking this very important work. Immediately from the outset of this committee, with the leadership of staff from Bridges Community Health Centre and Port Cares, it became evident that we needed to take a very holistic and deep approach to issues affecting citizens in Port Colborne. The Social Determinants of Health were brought forward as a lens for this committee, now named the Social Determinants of Health [...]

22 July, 2016

Youth in Peril

2017-01-04T09:57:44-05:00Categories: Mindful Musings (Executive Director)|

As the Executive Director of CMHA Niagara, I receive regular incident reports informing me of unusual or challenging client situations. These reports provide us with an opportunity to develop better supports for our clients as we continuously strive to improve the quality of our services.  Recently many of our reports refer to youth between the ages of 15 and 29 who suffer not only from mental illness but equally suffer from the vestiges of a system that has many gaps and is unable to support them in a coherent manner. Everyone is doing their best but we are failing our [...]

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