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Helpful article from INTEGRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION INSIGHTS for front line mental health workers trying to work in advancing… practices for the communities we serve. The authors put substance to the idea of thinking beyond the individual, ringing true of the breadth involved with care system change that aims for “the long term” instead of “quick changes.” 

" move from a focus on separate dramatic events to a focus on the persistent, often almost continuous, pressures giving rise to the discrete events we see."


Our mental health care system feels like a super tanker on the ocean that is trying to turn direction - but it needs a lot more than high level planners thinking of the long term.  Anyone in eenetconnect world had any experience with the kind of approach Richardson and Anderson offer to help groups map out decisions to advance practice change?  

The fields of systems thinking and system dynamics modelling bring four important patterns of thought to such a group decision and negotiation:

  1. thinking dynamically;
  2. thinking in stocks and flows;
  3. thinking in feedback loops; and,
  4. thinking endogenously.


See the article here:

ocan system report

I realize for system planners, my question about how people approach understanding systems may be a basic question,  I am curious how from a front line practice perspective, as a cog in the system, keeping their balance with the curves, workers are:

  • engaging in framing  systems in their minds
  • acting and interacting with planners on long term system change
  • bridging our everyday care within a system model 

An example -- gaps, unmet needs, planned actions, goals are embedded in our organizations and systems focus of care to advance the recovery model .  The Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) is framed as a key activity with individuals (clients) and posited by our care system to advance system change and measure performance.

 ocan data use

The two images are from OCAN Community of Interest (COI) which is a good example of creating a resource for thinking systems. -


Images (3)
  • 11-Figure4-1
  • ocan data use
  • ocan system report
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