Addiction and mental health services between Timmins, Iroquois Falls and Cochrane have been integrated from three service providers into one.
South Cochrane Addiction Services and the Minto Counselling Centre have joined with the Cochrane-Temiskaming branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
CMHA executive director Paul Jalbert says discussions began a year-and-a-half ago, and integration took effect January 1st. He expects it to reduce barriers to services and, for example, reduce the number of times a client has to tell their story. And no staff has been let go.
“The goal was in effect to make sure that we have at least as good, but really improved access to services. So this exercise wasn’t an exercise in redundancies,” he declares.
A similar move was made in Timiskaming about six years ago. Jalbert says it works well. Among the advantages is no more duplication in administration.
Now in this area, he says, begins the real work.
“And what’s going to be critical in that, is including the voice of clients who use our services and staff who deliver the services. We got the back end stuff done, we have to make sure that the services really are what they need to be.”