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365 days: Notes from the executive director's office

Sunday, January 29, 2017Michelle Hurtubise

As I reflect on my first year at the Centre, I am astounded by how quickly it has gone by. At the same time, it feels as though I have been here for a much longer period of time. I hit the ground running, with the realization that I wasn’t the only one on the move. We're all running, and I'm pleased to say that is seems like, on most days, we are all heading in the same direction. No matter how we work in, or with, the child and youth mental health sector, we share a singular goal: the best possible mental health and well-being for every single child, youth and family in this province. To get there we need better, faster and more coordinated services in each and every Ontario community. It's a big job, but I have seen the tireless commitment demonstrated by countless champions and I am confident we can get there together.

We've been busy at the Centre doing our part. When agencies told us they needed better support to deal with complex issues, we listened. We responded by re-organizing our staff and leadership structure to make room for more people to provide direct support to agencies in quality improvement, performance measurement and system planning. Those people are on board and ready to help. They are already criss-crossing the province gathering information and sharing their expertise with agencies and service areas. (meet them here)

This week, we will be hosting the inaugural meeting of our brand-new Strategic Advisory Council. This group represents a merging of the functions of our pre-existing Advisory and Governance Committees. They'll provide the Centre with advice on key strategic issues, keep tabs on our performance and roll up their sleeve to help us shape the future of the Centre and its services.In addition to launching the Council, the Centre has also built a new stakeholder engagement process that challenges us that for each and every project we embark on has the right mix of stakeholder input right from the very beginning. We're embracing a project-based strategy that we hope reduces the burden of participation on our advisors while simultaneously increasing the degree to which our work is informed by the sector. It’s lean management meets meaningful engagement.

Speaking of engagement, I can sincerely say that I have observed a near-transformation in the way agencies are collaborating with youth and families to build the system of tomorrow. Our Centre is proud to have been able to facilitate that shift and we remain committed to supporting meaningful youth and family engagement every step of the way.

I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with this year to advance the sector. I've developed great relationships, partnerships and friendships along the way. This is going to be a big year. Not just for the sector, but for everyone. As we collectively push forward on complex issues that will form the foundation for all of our future success, I hope we can continue the culture of collaboration and quality that children, youth and families have the right to expect from us. What a difference a year can make. Here's to another year of making a difference, and many more to come.

Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health

695 Industrial Avenue, Ottawa Ontario, K1G 0Z1
Tel.: 613-737-2297   Fax: 613-738-4894


Please note: We do not provide mental health advice, counselling or treatment.
If you, or if someone you know is in crisis right now, please call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

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