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Join the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) Community of Interest Working Group!

What is the opportunity?

We are looking for people with lived/living experience of mental health concerns (and their family members and/or identified caregivers) who have some familiarity with OCAN to join our working group. This working group will comprise clinical service providers, program managers, system administrators and people who have lived/living experience, family and/or caregivers.

More about the OCAN Community of Interest

OCAN is the standardized assessment instrument used in the community mental health sector. This assessment supports conversations between service providers and their clients. It helps to understand the people’s current situation better, needs and strengths, and to develop a service plan. OCAN assesses needs in 24 areas called “domains." OCAN supports a recovery approach with the inclusion of a self-assessment component documenting the service user’s perspective on their needs.

OCAN Graphic. Areas of Need: Accommodation, Alcohol, Basic Education, Benefits, Child care, Communication, Company, Daytime activities, Drugs, Food, Information on condition and treatment, Intimate relationships, Looking after home, Money, Other addictions, Other dependents, Physical health, Psychological distress, Psychotic symptoms, , Safety to others, Safety to self, Self-care, Sexual expression, Transportation.

The OCAN Community of Interest aims to provide a forum for sharing OCAN-related information and recovery-oriented practices using OCAN and share approaches to using OCAN data for quality improvement planning.

The OCAN Community of Interest is co-led by the Canadian Mental Health Association's Peel Dufferin branch and Ontario Health with the support of the Provincial System Support Program’s Knowledge Mobilization team at CAMH.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people who have experienced mental health and have accessed mental health and addiction services, including family members/caregivers who support them. In particular, we are looking for people who:

  • can identify challenges and guide solutions related to the OCAN that will come before the working group to improve the experiences and outcomes for future clients
  • have previous experience working on a board and/or leadership committee, council or advisory group of a healthcare or non-profit community organization
  • have been involved in other advocacy or system-level work for mental health and addictions
  • can share insights and reflections about their experiences with the OCAN, when appropriate and relevant, in ways that others can learn from
  • can work in partnership with a variety of other people bringing diverse perspectives
  • can take a constructive approach to discussing concerns and ideas to address them
  • have a passion for improving mental health and addiction care in Ontario; specifically the use of the OCAN to improve services and programs.

To help ensure our working group meets the diverse needs and priorities of all Ontarians, we want to include people who may be underserved by our current system, including:

  • members of First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Urban Indigenous Communities
  • individuals from northern, rural, and remote communities
  • Francophones and people who speak English as their second language*
  • new or recent immigrants
  • members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities
  • from racialized, ethnic and/or cultural minority groups
  • individuals from lower-income households
  • persons with a disability or accessibility challenge

We need your help to do this work!

Activities may include:

  • Regularly attend monthly virtual working group meetings (about 1 hour).
  • Actively participate in meetings by providing input from experience and sharing perspectives on work being planned and underway.
  • Complete additional work outside of meeting times, as needed (no more than one hour per month), such as reviewing documents and meeting materials.

We encourage attendance and active participation at all meetings. Participants will receive an honorarium for their involvement.

Time commitment

The group will meet virtually (using Webex or telephone) for about 1 hour per month. A Terms of Reference will be approved by the membership.

Expressions of Interest

If you are interested in participating in this working group, please contact by October 31, 2023. A brief and confidential meeting (videoconference) will be held with each interested individual to determine the best fit.

Last edited by Registered Member
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