About the Session:
This presentation will provide an overview of the York Region Public Health Mental Health Initiative including the process and steps taken to develop a framework for Public Health that is currently being used to guide mental health promotion for York Region Public Health programs and services. Initiatives implemented to integrate or further integrate mental health promotion into programs and services and build capacity to enhance program and service delivery will be highlighted.
Kiran Somjee, Mental Health Initiative Team Lead along with Ann Ramkay and Valerie D’Paiva, Lead Managers for Mental Health all provide leadership for the Public Health Branch Mental Health Initiative at York Region Public Health. They work together to facilitate and provide strategic direction to enhance and further integrate mental health promotion into Public Health programs and services. With a passion for mental health, wellness, stigma reduction and creating a culture shift to better achieve and maintain good mental health, Kiran, Ann and Valerie are all dedicated to providing consultation, training, staff support, leadership as well as tools and resources for the York Region Public Health Branch. Collaborating with internal and external partners including staff, managers, senior leaders and stakeholders, they have successfully guided teams in completing tools to assess the current state of mental health program integration, identify training and literature needs as well as identify gaps and opportunities to further integrate mental health considerations into program planning with a mental health lens. They have also contributed to aligning with Corporate, Departmental and Branch level initiatives such as The Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma campaign, Mental Health First Aid training as well as The Working Mind training. They also lead individual groups within the larger mental health strategy including Resilience Building and Prevention Initiatives, Mental Health Training and Development as well as the Public Health Branch Mental Health Work Group. Together, they hope to foster change and growth to establish a common language and promote key messages around mental
health to generate mental health awareness and decrease stigma for both staff and clients within York Region.