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Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Peel Dufferin was established in 1962 and received its articles of incorporation on November 22, 1983.  For over 55 years, CMHA Peel Dufferin Branch has been a pioneer in providing services for people with mental illness and educating Canadians about mental health issues. Our mission is to champion good mental health for everyone and support the full participation of those with mental illness and addictions in the life of the community.  In addition to providing mental health and addictions services, CMHA Peel Dufferin is also a leader in providing education to the community about mental health, sharing the availability of services within the region, and promoting awareness to the general public.

Chronological History of Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin

1962Chapter Meeting May 3, 1962
1963Motion passed to urge the Mississauga Hospital Board to create psychiatric unit as part of their current expansion program.
1964Brief presented to the Mississauga Board concerning the creation of psychiatric unit. Opening of the White Cross Information Centre.
196580 attended a Teachers Workshop. 30 attended a Clergy Workshop. Meetings with Mississauga Hospital Board re: establishment of the psychiatric unit.
1966Drop-in Centre opened two afternoons a month. Visits to all homes in the area for Special Care.
1967Meeting with Mississauga Psychiatric Board re: fundraising for furnishings for psychiatric unit now under construction. Establishment of Peel Assessment Workshop. $1,000.00 donated to psychiatric unit.
1968Homes for Special Care visited regularly and efforts made to introduce Occupational Therapy into them. Contact with Mississauga Hospital Board re: opening of Our Patient Clinic at the new psychiatric unit.
1969Exploration of need to re-establish a Single Parent Association in Peel. Liaison with Mississauga Hospital Board re: a Multi-Purpose Family Care Centre.
1970Committee set up to explore, with the Planning Board, the proposal for new high density areas in Peel. Terms of reference established for the Peel County Girls Group Home.
1971Outstanding Volunteer Award presented to Mrs. Isabelle Johnston by CMHA National for her part in publishing “Four Pairs of Friends.”
1972Steering Committee discussions on setting up Distress Line.
1973Distress Line opened. Involved in “Quality Living.”
1974Committee set up to explore support services for ex-psychiatric patients.
1975Research into Aftercare and Housing programs for ex-psychiatric patients.
1976Parent Education Training courses held.
1977Peel Aftercare Resources (PAR South) opened.
1978Seminar held re: proposed Mental Health Act amendments.
1979Peel Aftercare Resources (PAR North) opened.
1980Establishment of two Co-op Support Residences.
1983Workshop held on co-ordination of Mental Health Services in Peel. Establishment of Satellite Office in Caledon Branch incorporated.
1984Establishment of 24-hour support housing.
1985Establishment of Community Education/Public Relations Program and Resource Development Program.
1986Development of Mission Statement and Long Term Goals for Branch. Renaming of the PAR program (Peel Activities and Rehabilitation) and establishment of PAR Advisory Committee. Implementation of enhancement of PAR program.
1987Inauguration of Caring Community Awards. Expansion of Supportive Housing in Peel program. Implementation of modified “Clubhouse” model for the PAR program.
1988Pilot of “Living Colour.” Ciba-Geigy Canada Ltd. -First corporate sponsor of the Annual Caring Community Awards Dinner. Brampton Parents & Preschoolers, a CMHA sponsored project. Police Recruit Training begins.
1989Clubhouse facilities relocate to new, larger and completely accessible facilities.
1991 Trillium Foundation grant received for Strategic Planning exercise carried out by the Branch. The Davidson Scholarship fund made available through the generous bequest left by Mr. W.O. Davidson. Watch-Us-B Resources Services divestment.
1992Supporting Housing in Peel (SHIP) incorporated as an independent community mental health program focused on housing-related issues. United Way approved of multi-year funding for CMHA Peel for the next three years. Review and Revision of By-Law. Par Housing initiated.
1993Development of long-term community education plan. Partial funding by United Way of Peel. Board explored new models of governance, revised current by-laws and redefined Personnel Policies of Branch.
1994Mental Illness Awareness training for 1,000 experienced officers and 500 civilian staff with the Peel Regional Police. Completion of Education and Community Resources Program Plan and released with input from 136 Peel citizens and service providers. Outreach Group of PAR North divested and became “On Our Own.” Strengthened relationship with Queen Street Mental Health Centre and three local hospitals by regular consultants and a Memorandum of Understanding. Case Management Proposal submitted to Peel District Health Council. SHIP purchase of service agreement ended. Board adopted Carver Model Governance.
1995United Way of Peel granted additional allocation for use in education and Community Resources Program. Administration Office relocated to Traders Blvd., Mississauga.
1996 CMHA Peel will be operated by an Executive Management Team for the next two years.
1997Mental Health Resource Centre established to provide public awareness, information and referral, education and a mental health library. Operation of Eden Place, a consumer initiative providing self-help support and drop-in facilities.
1998Court Support Services established to provide ‘Diversion” from the criminal justice system to the mental health system for people with serious mental illness who are charged with a non-violent crime.
1999Cafeteria Enterprise: the establishment of a consumer owned and operated cafeteria business in partnership with HRDC and DBG (a private corporate business). Youth Net – Pilot project promoting mental health promotion and early intervention, serving youth 12-30 years of age, operated by youth for youth. Region of Peel Pilot Outreach Project – a mobile street outreach to support homeless individuals with mental illness and/or addictions, which CMHA Peel provides in partnership with Peel Addiction Assessment Referral Centre.
2000 Unofficial opening of Peel Branch Resource Centre, Mississauga where residents/workers in Peel can call or visit to get information and referral to mental health services. Outreach services, funded by the Region of Peel through Peel Cares, continues to operate. First Business Plan for the organization is written.
2001Launch of web site to allow greater access to services provided by CMHA Peel by all residents of Peel.
2002CMHA Peel celebrates its 40th anniversary.
2003Toronto-Peel Mental Health Implementation Task Force report is released.
2004Access to Recovery Case Management program starts up.
2005CMHA Peel receives $898,989 funding from Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for case management, emergency/crisis response and early intervention programs. Executive Director, Sandy Milakovic celebrates 25 years with CMHA Peel. Resource Centre, Court Support and Access to Recovery move under one umbrella to Brampton. Redesigned web site.
2006Fact Peel+, a partnership with SHIP & CAMH starts to help young people coping with early episodes of psychosis. Short-term Case Managers and Discharge Planners added to Mental Health & Justice Services. Home Works program starts up, offering one-time financial assistance to people with mental illness to gain housing. Organizational annual budget increases to over $4 million.
2007ACT Team (Assertive Community Treatment) starts up to serve the most seriously ill clients. Concurrent Disorders Resource Specialist hired to train professionals in Peel. Home Works changes its name to McEvenue Home Works in honour of the late Anthony (Tony) McEvenue, Director of Clinical Services. CMHA Peel celebrates its 45th anniversary. Organization continues to grow with a budget of $5.5 million.
2008COAST Peel (Crisis Outreach And Support Team). a partnership with St. Elizabeth Health Care and Peel Regional Police is launched. CMHA Peel revises its mission to: CMHA Peel enhances the well-being of all people in our community by promoting and supporting good mental health.
2009Sixty-two agencies join our Concurrent Disorders Resource Network and receive training in suicide intervention, non-violent crisis intervention and concurrent disorders.
2010 CMHA Peel’s new tag line is, “Promoting mental health, one mind at a time.” CMHA Peel partners with Brampton YMCA to allow clients access to physical activities. Treat at Home; a partnership with Reconnect & CANES led by CMHA Peel was initiated to provide support to seniors with mental health issues. This program is part of the Aging at Home Strategy of the MOHLTC.
2011CMHA Peel relocates to Community Door in Brampton. The Community Door concept hinges on the collective efforts of socially-focused agencies looking to combine resources and work together to better serve the community. Our clubhouse programs PAR North and PAR South merged and became Partnership Place. CMHA Peel introduces Telemedicine program, enhancing availability to engage providers and educate as well as provide service delivery remotely. “From at-Risk to at-Promise” a program to address early intervention in youth substance use was funded initially for two years. The Fact Peel+ program was expanded into Malton and a Transitional Age Youth (System Integration) position was initiated to support youth in their transition from the children’s mental health system to the adult system. Dufferin Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee received funding from C/W LHIN. The first “Changes in Altitude, Changes in Attitude” Community Fair was held to promote mental health awareness.
2012CMHA Peel adopts CMHA National branding throughout the organization. In keeping with this our new mission was identified as “CMHA Peel champions good mental health for everyone and supports the full participation of those with mental illness and addictions in the life of the community” and our new tag line was, “Mental Health for All.” Canadian Centre of Accreditation accredited CMHA Peel with accolades. This was our first recognizable accreditation and was achieved with full involvement of the Board and staff. CMHA Peel celebrated our 50th anniversary with events throughout the year, such as: Donor Development, “Open Minds, Open Doors”, Community Garden, “Walk for Life, Walk for Hope” our first annual walk-a-thon raising awareness for suicide prevention and mental health, CMHA Peel Reunion – Habitat for Humanity, CMHA staff volunteered building a home and bringing awareness to the housing challenges of people with mental illness, Scotia McLeod Charity BBQ, in partnership with “Inside Ride” raising funds for CMHA Peel and Children living with Cancer, “Changes in Altitude, Changes in Attitude” Community Fair, promoting mental health awareness, Santa Claus Parade, our float, Emerging into Light, Volunteer Appreciation Night. Additionally Peel Crisis Capacity Network funded through CMHA Peel received additional funding to support those with dual diagnosis and their families when in crisis.
2013In-STED program was generated to offer short-term, community-based mental health and addiction services to the most vulnerable individuals experiencing multiple emergency department visits, addressing their needs and linking them to services. This is a partnership of CMHA Peel, Punjabi Community Health Services and SHIP working with William Osler Health Services (Brampton Civic, Etobicoke General), Headwaters Health Care and C/W CCAC.
2014Sandy Milakovic, CEO, announces her retirement after 33 years. CMHA Peel welcomes new CEO, David Smith. “Ride Don’t Hide” event is launched to raise awareness and help break the stigma surrounding mental health, while raising essential funds to support mental health programs and initiatives. System Wise one-day symposium launched to bring together healthcare, mental health and addictions professionals.
2015“Recovery West” is launched and replaces our Partnership Place and Eden Place Programs, and begins to offer Vocational Support Services. CMHA Peel expands to start serving the Rexdale area. 24.7 Crisis Support Peel is launched to provide 24/7 crisis support to Brampton and Mississauga through partnerships with Peel Regional Police and numerous mental health care professionals. CMHA launches Talk Today Program with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) to aid in generating more awareness, provide mental health coaches, workshops and events. In July a New Front Door for CMHA is opened at 314 Hurontario St, Brampton, to provide a multitude of services for clients.
2016CMHA Peel expands and is now serving Dufferin County. This large expansion leads to the revision and update of the organization name to: CMHA Peel Dufferin. Canadian Centre of Accreditation re-accredits CMHA Peel Dufferin for the second time. In February, CMHA Peel Dufferin and the Caledon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announce the expansion of 24.7 Crisis Support Peel into Caledon.
2017Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinics were launched to reduce barriers for vulnerable clients and families accessing timely substance use health care programs and services. The program supports increased opioid addiction treatment capacity in communities of high need.
CMHA Peel Dufferin Privacy Program was established to protect client privacy rights and their personal health information as required by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA, 2004).
2019Outreach and Street Help Line services expanded to a 24/7 service making it easier to call for support to get off the street. Time in the community was increased to 14 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide on-the-ground support to those who are street homeless including in spaces such as encampments, drop-in centres and hubs throughout the Region of Peel.
The RAAM program expanded to offer more service across the Peel region including extended hours with increased staffing capacity and the added positions of a nurse practitioner and a registered nurse.
The Health Information Management and Innovation and Improvement Analyst Team was developed to enhance quality improvement, digital health, health analytics and privacy in CMHA Peel Dufferin’s work.
2020The Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCCRT) was launched adding a mental health crisis worker to the police team that responds to 911 calls involving mental health. In its first two months the service decreased apprehensions by 70%.
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) program launched to support the capacity of, and access to, FASD assessment and diagnostic offerings, with an aim to support improved access to services and supports for adults who are screened for and/or diagnosed with FASD.
The Mental Health and Justice Program expanded to include Post-Court Transitional Case Management supports providing short-term, rapid-access transitional case management for individuals with mental illness who no longer have outstanding matters before the court. This includes facilitating access to community mental health services, helping to secure housing, and supporting temporary returns to hospital while maintaining the person’s community housing.
The year marked the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and CMHA Peel Dufferin pivoted its services to include immediate access to a mental health worker. Group supports and Mental Health Promotion and Education offerings became virtual. Offerings remained accessible even during lockdowns because mental health is health.
CMHA Peel Dufferin participated in the Encampment Pilot that was operated by the Region of Peel to help individuals move from encampments into hotels for support and to meet infection prevention and control measures.
CMHA Peel Dufferin opened its doors in Etobicoke to serve people in the North Etobicoke, West Woodbridge and Malton communities. The team also opened a new Brampton location at a hub that helps support partnerships with Peel Regional Police, Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP), Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre (PAARC) and safe beds.
CMHA Peel Dufferin earned Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada by meeting 99.6% of the five hundred areas of focus.
2021The High Priority Community Strategy (HPCS) program was launched as part of the government’s comprehensive Preparedness Plan to address the immediate challenges of the second wave of COVID-19, including disproportionately high positivity rates and transmission rates documented in communities that faced barriers accessing supports and services. The team focused on supporting increased access to testing, combatting misinformation through outreach and education, distributing PPE kits, and providing wrap-around supports to facilitate isolation plans for individuals and families.
CMHA Peel Dufferin also earned the 2020 Non-Profit Employer of Choice (NEOC) Award.
2022Redesign of services was undertaken at CMHA Peel Dufferin in keeping with pandemic lessons. The Immediate Intervention Specialist role was launched, and services evolved to include the multi-disciplinary team approach across more areas of service.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in alcohol consumption and opioid related deaths and overdoses, the RAAM program received funding to offer extended hours and service options. The RAAM Team grew to include much needed specializations such as a Peer Support Worker and a Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
The Community Crisis Rapid Response Team pilot was launched where two crisis workers are dispatched by 911 Police Communications for mental health calls that do not require a police response. In addition, a Crisis Worker was embedded within the 911 Communications Call Centre to assist with mental health and addictions-related crisis calls.
The Ontario Structured Psychotherapy (OSP) program was launched and CMHA Peel Dufferin became a sub-delivery site providing high quality, outcomes-oriented and evidence-based mental health support for depression and anxiety.
CMHA Peel Dufferin also earned the 2021 Non-Profit Employer of Choice (NEOC) Award.
2023CMHA Peel Dufferin earned the 2022 Non-Profit Employer of Choice (NEOC) Award.
The CMHA Peel Dufferin Mississauga office opened in the Community Door at 50 Burnhamthorpe Road, providing easier access to those served in the Mississauga community.
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