Mental Health/Substance Abuse
Brain injury is often life-changing event for individuals and their families. Individuals can experience dramatic and permanent changes in work status, income, family life, support network and quality of life.
Many individuals with brain injury struggle with mental health issues such as depression and/or substance abuse.
Building a Service Resolution Function in Toronto: Recommendations for Meeting the Needs of People with Complex Mental Health, Addictions, and Other Challenges, May 2015
Within the ABI community are individuals who are not only living with an acquired brain injury, but who also face challenges related to co-existing mental health, addictions, developmental and/or justice issues. In 2014/2015, as co-chair of the Toronto-Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (T-HSJCC) Complex Sub-Committee, the Toronto ABI Network, together with Cota, worked with a consulting firm and representatives from the ABI, mental health and addiction and justice sectors, to conduct a review to develop and propose several options for a service resolution process that would address the needs and system gaps for complex clients who face system barriers and access issues.
Service resolution pulls together the organizations, services and sectors that are involved as part of an individual’s support network to enable agreed upon service interventions, collaborative solutions, and cross-organizational partnerships for those with complex needs. The review was conducted over several months and was comprised of a series of key informant interviews and focus groups, a web-based scan of services, organizations and partnerships, and an examination of existing system data.
Next steps will be discussed in the coming months with members of the Toronto-Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee to enhance support and advocacy of individuals in the community with complex needs.
The Toronto ABI Network is currently working to improve coordination of ABI and mental health services.
The following provide information and/or support:
Substance Use and Brain Injury Project
The Substance Use and Brain Injury (SUBI) project provides information on issue of substance use and brain injury.
Canadian Mental Health Association
The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a listing of community-based support and discussion groups for individuals dealing with mental health issues. The resources listed may or may not be appropriate for someone with an acquired brain injury. However, the website provides some information on brain injury, mental health and substance abuse.
ConnexOntario Health Services Ontario
ConnexOntario provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness or gambling. Information may or may not be appropriate for someone with an acquired brain injury.