Reprieve for the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office

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At the end of June, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care proposed that the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office be moved from the Ministry  to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario. Founded in 1983, the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office provides advocacy, rights advice and education, in particular to patients confined in hospital.

The proposal, covered in the Toronto Star, quickly caught the attention of consumer/survivors who expressed concern that the transfer of the Pscyhatric Patient Advocate Office to CMHA Ontario would be a conflict-of-interest, among other issues. A Coalition for an Independent Pscyhiatric Patient Advocate Office was formed and began advocating for broad consultation to ensure the Office was permanent, fully indepednet and not under the direction of CMHA Ontario. 

At the end of July, only a month after the initial proposal, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care agreed to "engage our partners across the sector, including patients and their advocates to determine the best way to achieve our shared goals of increased independence for the PPAO." The Minister's letter is published on the Coalition's website.  

The Mood Disorders Association is pleased that the Minister has agreed to further consultation before making any decisions on the future of the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, and has sent a letter to Minister Mattews expressing our support for an independent Office.  Download the letter: lettertoministerppaoaug311.pdf

 If you are interested in following this issue, visit the Coalition for an Independent PPAO website, or join the Facebook page.