Increasing participation and involvement of people living with mental illness within the CMHA has been a priority for over 20 years. In 1987 a motion was passed by the National Board of Directors to establish an advisory committee with the goal of providing a consumer perspective to the Canadian Mental Health Association. The Consumer Participation Task Group (CPTG) was formed in 1987 for the purpose of increasing the involvement of mental health services consumers in planning and decision-making within society, and to look at consumer participation within the CMHA. The CPTG evolved into the Consumer Participation Advisory Committee in 1991 and eventually became the National Consumer Advisory Council (NCAC).
The original composition of the committee was Consumers, Families, Mental Health Service Providers, Generic Community Groups and Organizations, with a majority of consumers. In 1998, the NCAC became all-consumer.
Over the years, the NCAC has been instrumental in providing policy leadership regarding consumer participation within the Association. It has brought the consumer perspective to all of the issues and concerns on the CMHA’s agenda. Some of the accomplishments of the NCAC are:
- Developed the discussion paper Power, Paternalism and Partnerships, 2006
- Lead in the development of three resource packages on Consumer Participation for information sharing on strategies across CMHA
- Established the Consumer Participation Award in 1990
- Produced the Consumer Participation Celebration Package, a history of consumer participation within CMHA in honour of CMHA’s 75th anniversary, 1992
- Provided input on policy statements on Consumer Involvement, 1992, and Consumer Volunteers, 1998
- Assists with encouraging nominations of consumers to the National Board
- Lead a survey of consumer participation within CMHA 1998
The NCAC hosted an “Emerging Issues Forum” at the National Conference in Edmonton in September 2005.
The NCAC has a seat on the Executive Committee, and as a result of the new governance model approved this year, a representative of the NCAC now also formally sits on the National Board of Directors.
The Council currently has members from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The NCAC is increasing its membership in order to be more nationally representative.
To find out more about the NCAC, please contact: Theresa Claxton, Chair of the NCAC email@example.com