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Letter from Board Chair

Building partnerships to care 

Dear friends,

It has been a year of exciting change, with The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre’s (HDC) integration with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on February 1, 2017.  The newly-named SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (CCMH) and SickKids have joined together in a shared vision: to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children and youth with complex mental health needs.  

Since its inception, HDC has developed a wide range of interprofessional services and customized care for children, youth, and families, including: counselling and therapy; intensive in-home support; and community-based prevention and education programs that focus on the unique needs of our younger clients and their families. SickKids works with more acutely-affected paediatric patients with mental health needs, providing crisis and stabilization services, structured short-term treatment services, and specialized services for children and youth with both medical and mental health complexities. We know that by working together we can align and co-ordinate our continuum of services, extend our impact, and combine our joint expertise to enhance evidence-based mental health service delivery, education, and research.

Working together and building on our existing expertise, as CCMH, we will focus on prevention, treatment, research, and education. Through our community treatment centres, Gail Appel Institute, and our community partnerships, we are well-positioned to do just that.

We hope, over time, to improve the models we currently use in our approaches to both physical and mental health.

For much of the year covered by this annual report, HDC was under the leadership of Donna Duncan as its former President and CEO. I would like to thank Donna for her outstanding leadership, her unrelenting focus on what is best for our children, youth and families, and for being such an amazing partner as we worked towards this integration. A special thanks is also due to all of you who contributed to the process and participated in our community engagement meetings in advance of the integration. Your feedback was incredibly valuable, and will continue to guide us in our journey. And, thank you to all of you reading this report right now for your long-standing support of HDC.

Currently in Canada, one in five children under 18 will experience a mental health disorder; of these, one in six can access the help that they need. We need to improve these numbers. Under our new banner, we will boldly forge a new model of more seamless care for our most vulnerable mental health clients, and get them the right care at the right place at the right time. We will increase our evidence-based treatment options through ongoing research. And we will train the next generation of mental health professionals. Through our integration, and in partnership with the community, we will be able to achieve more.

Dr. Michael Apkon
Chair, Board of Trustees
SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health