Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP)

 

Establishment

The Board, at its meeting of February 21, 2019, approved the establishment of the Board’s Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP) (Min. No. P36/19 refers) which superseded its current Mental Health Sub-Committee.

As noted at that time, MHAAP is comprised of members of the Board, members of the Service and members of the community, ensuring that this includes representatives from organizations run by and for people with lived experiences. It is important that the membership reflect the diversity of Toronto with representatives from major as well as more locally-based groups or organizations serving youth and marginalized and racialized groups. An emphasis was placed on including individuals with both client-focused and direct lived experience of mental health and addictions issues (includes lived experience in addictions or substance use, including harm reduction and service delivery) as well as those with expertise in the areas of law and human rights, accountability and data.

In particular, it was stated that there must be at least two members with direct lived experience of mental health and addictions issues or who are connected to an organization representing people with lived experience of mental health and addictions issues as part of the membership of the MHAAP.

As the report states, MHAAP will also have a number of representatives from the Toronto Police Service.

 

Chair and Co-Chairs

The Board report stated that the Chair of the Board will act as Co-Chair of MHAAP, and that, in addition, there will be two Community Co-Chairs, one of whom must be a person with lived experience of mental health and addictions issues.

Jim Hart, Chair of the Board, is Co-Chair of MHAAP. The Community Co-Chairs, as appointed by the Board are Jennifer Chambers and Steve Lurie.

 

Membership

At its meeting of May 30, 2019, the Board approved the membership of MHAAP (Min. No. P100/19 refers).

Jim Hart (Co-Chair)

Born and raised in Toronto, Jim Hart has spent the bulk of his career working for the city he loves.

Jim began working for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in the Metro Works Department, followed by three years working for the Metro Toronto Housing Company (MTHC).

Jim moved from MTHC to the Metro (later City of Toronto) Clerk's office where he became the Director of Council and Support Services from 1989 to 2001. In 2001, Jim moved to the City Manager's Office where he spent six years as Director of Executive Management.

Following his time in the City Manager's Office, Jim spent a year as the Director of Business Organization and Review in the Deputy City Manager's Office before becoming the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards in 2008.

Jim was selected as the General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation in 2011, later retiring from that position in 2014.

In June 2017, Jim was appointed to City of Toronto Council as the representative for Ward 44 – Scarborough East, to complete the (2014-2018) term of the late Councillor Ron Moeser.

As a City Councillor, Jim was a member of the Scarborough Community Council and the following Committees and Boards:

  • Economic Development Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Police Services Board (Vice-Chair)
  • Canadian National Exhibition Association
  • Library Board
Jim is a big sports fan and spent 14 years coaching baseball in Scarborough. Jim and his wife Joan have been married for 32 years, and have two children, Carly and Ian.

On July 16, 2019, Toronto City Council appointed Jim to the Toronto Police Services Board and at its meeting of, October 22, 2019, the Board elected Jim as its Chair.

Jennifer Chambers (MHAAP Community Co-Chair)

Jennifer Chambers is the Executive Director of the Empowerment Council, an organization that serves as a voice for clients/survivors and ex-clients of mental health and addiction services, primarily of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The Empowerment Council had standing at the Andrew Loku Inquest and informed the resulting recommendations. She was a Co-Chair of the Board’s former Mental Health Sub-Committee and is also a member of the Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP).

Steve Lurie (MHAAP Community Co-Chair)

Steve Lurie is the Executive Director of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto Branch, a nation-wide charitable organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness. CMHA had standing at the Andrew Loku Inquest and informed the resulting recommendations. He was the Vice Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board’s former Mental Health Sub-Committee and is also a member of the Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP).

Inspector Chris Boddy

Inspector Boddy has served 28 years with the Toronto Police Service and is currently the Unit Commander of one of Toronto’s front line police stations. Included in his portfolio is the responsibility to lead the Toronto Police Service’s response to the needs of those with mental health concerns, and to establish and maintain liaison with the agencies that support and serve them including the Toronto Police Service Board’s Mental Health Panel. In each of these forums the police, service providers, and consumers discuss matters of mutual concern including police training, equipment, tactics and relationships. He is also a member of the Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP).

Deputy Chief Shawna Coxon

Shawna Coxon is a Deputy Chief of Police with the Toronto Police Service, where she has worked in many varied areas of policing for more than 24 years. She has her PhD in Criminal Law from Leicester University in the U.K. and has both published and spoken internationally. She has a passion for policing, innovation, technology and futurism. Deputy Coxon has worked on the transformation program where she helped to design and begin implementation of the modernization of the Service. Many of her advances are novel, as she seeks to reshape the role of police towards a community-centric, trusted community partner.

Susan Davis

Susan Davis is the Executive Director at Gerstein Crisis Centre, a 24-hour Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Centre in Toronto. She has over 30 years of experience in the community mental health and addiction field with many years in direct service as well as leadership roles. Susan has been a leader in the development of innovative services, partnerships and systems that improve access to the supports people need and that recognize the impact of the social determinants of health on people’s overall well-being. She has worked collaboratively across sectors, including with police services, to better serve people dealing with mental health and addiction difficulties.

She has trained police officers around community-based crisis intervention and mental health and has served on police committees related to mental health and addiction responses. Susan has been instrumental in the development of the Mental Health and Justice Network and the Downtown and Toronto Region Human Service and Justice Coordinating Committees. She has served on a number of Boards and is currently on the board of Working for Change, a social enterprise organization that provides employment opportunities for individuals living with mental health and addiction issues.

Dr. Eileen de Villa

Dr. Eileen de Villa is the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto. Dr. de Villa leads Toronto Public Health, Canada’s largest local public health agency, which provides public health programs and services to 2.8 million residents. Prior to joining Toronto Public Health, Dr. de Villa served as the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel serving 1.4 million residents. Dr. de Villa has authored, published and presented research on issues including public health considerations for city planning and emergency preparedness, communicable and infectious disease control, and public health policy development. Dr. de Villa has been a strong voice in raising the issue of the current opioid overdose epidemic, endorsing a public health approach to drug policy.

Lana Frado

Lana Frado is the Executive Director of Sound Times Support Services. Sound Times provides services to individuals with serious mental health and/or addiction issues and is entirely staffed by people with lived experience. They are the largest organization of their kind in Canada and work specifically at the intersections of the mental health, addiction and criminal justice system. Currently, Sound Times is funded to provide Mental Health and Justice Prevention, Release Planning, Diversion and Court Support, provides staff to the 51 Division FOCUS program, and staffing to the Embedded Crown Project in 51 Division. Lana has three decades of experience working in mental health and addictions, has held many appointments to advisories, Boards and committees, and is a committed advocate for her community.

Susan Gapka

Susan Gapka is a dedicated campaigner for social justice highlighting her record on affordable housing, homelessness, mental health, harm reduction & lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans issues since coming out as a community leader 20 years ago. Susan helped establish the Toronto Police Service’s LGBTQ Community Advisory Committee and has served as a Toronto Community Housing tenant representative on the 51 Division CPLC for the last decade. Susan has served on the Toronto Local Advisory Committee & as Toronto representative on the National Consumer Panel of the At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project, the Housing Component for the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She has also served as a Board Member on the Empowerment Council funded by the Centre for Addiction and Mental (CAMH) for several terms as co-chair. Susan has a degree in Political Science from York University & a diploma in Community Work from George Brown College.‎ Susan is a proud recipient of the City of Toronto Pride Award (2004), CAMH Courage to Come Back Award (1999) and Canada 150 Difference Maker in Mental Health (2017) and holds a Key to the City of Toronto (2018).

Dawnmarie Harriott

Dawnmarie Harriott is the Coordinator of Voices from the Street, a speakers bureau composed of people who have experienced various forms of marginalization and who provide public education to a range of audiences from students to policy makers. She also coordinates a Relief Worker training program and offers training on Peer Work to a variety of non-profit organizations. As a former graduate (2007) of the speakers bureau, Dawnmarie shares her lived experience of the many systemic barriers she had to overcome and she advocates for policy change on issues related to domestic violence and poverty. Dawnmarie firmly believes that people with lived experience of all forms of marginalization should be included in research and service provision.

Kevin Haynes

Kevin Haynes is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Kevin provides mental health and addictions treatment for youth who identify as having African and/or Caribbean descent at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Kevin has supported members of the Community Partnerships and Engagement Unit (CPEU) of Toronto Police Service on projects aimed to initiate a mutual healing in the relationship between members of the Service and Black youth, and he has also collaborated with various community partners on projects relating to youth mental health, youth violence prevention, community safety and capacity building. Kevin holds a Master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Mental Health and Health, and a Collaborative Graduate Specialization in Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course from the University of Toronto.

Trevor Howard

Trevor Howard is the Manager of Complaint Services at Patient Ombudsman, where he leads a talented team of complaint resolution specialists and investigators who work diligently to resolve complaints and promote fairness in Ontario’s healthcare system. In his role, Trevor hears regularly from patients and caregivers about their experiences with mental health and addiction services. Prior to his work in the health sector, Trevor was a police officer with the Toronto Police Service for almost nine years, where he worked as both a front-line uniformed officer and an investigator. During this time, Trevor experienced first-hand the challenges and successes associated with police interactions with people in crisis and with officer mental health. Trevor holds a master’s degree in public policy, administration and law, as well as a graduate diploma in justice system administration, both from York University. Trevor's work in policing, and now in health care oversight, have led to a passion to improve the experiences of people living with mental illness and addictions, particularly as they relate to policing in the City of Toronto.

Dr. Paul Kurdyak

Dr. Paul Kurdyak is Medical Director of Performance Improvement at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Core Senior Scientist and Lead of the Mental Health and Addiction Program at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He is an Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and Health Quality Ontario on mental health system performance evaluation. His clinical work is in the Emergency Department at CAMH where he regularly interacts with members of Toronto’s police department.

Patrick Moeller

Patrick Moeller received his law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2003 and has been practicing criminal law ever since. He started his career with the Ministry of the Attorney General as an Assistant Crown Attorney, and later moved to defending low income Ontarians with Legal Aid Ontario. For the past 12 years, Patrick has focused on defending and advocating for clients with mental heath issues in the dedicated Mental Health Court at Old City Hall in Toronto. In his position as duty counsel, he has worked alongside psychiatrists, social workers, police, and the courts.

Ivy Nanayakkara

Ivy Nanayakkara is the Manager of Wellness at the Toronto Police Service. Ivy has over 18 years of experience in the field of occupational health and safety and wellness. She has worked with many public and private organizations across Canada in the design, implementation and evaluation of employee health programs aimed at creating and sustaining healthy and productive work forces. Ivy has a strong interest and passion in including psychological health and safety into workplace health strategies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Psychological Health & Safety Certificate from York University.

Inspector Kim O’Toole

In her 23rd year of policing with the Toronto Police Service, Inspector Kim O’Toole is currently working as the second in command at the Toronto Police College. She has had a diverse career, working in both uniform and in various investigative capacities. Some areas of highlight include her work in child abuse, sex and gender-based crimes, youth crime, human rights, the Homicide Squad and her expert status in delivering training on the treatment of transgendered prisoners. Inspector O’Toole has been an adjunct professor at the University of Guelph-Humber, teaching courses in, among other subjects, police and society, crime and criminal justice, criminological theory, investigative techniques, gender issues and advanced community policing. In 2013, Inspector O’Toole was seconded to the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan as a Rule of Law expert, assigned the portfolio of mentor/advisor for Gender and Human Rights.

Superintendent Dave Rydzik

Superintendent David Rydzik has been an officer with the Toronto Police Service for the past 30 years. In June of 2016 he was appointed as the Unit Commander of Divisional Policing Support Unit, now known as the Community Partnerships and Engagement Unit, where he is responsible for developing and overseeing numerous multi-agency collaborative partnerships and programs such as Furthering Our Communities and Uniting Services (F.O.C.U.S.), Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (M.C.I.T.), School Engagement Programs, Neighbourhood Officer Program, Youth Diversion, Community Consultative Committees, Victim Support, Youth Engagement, Prevention/Countering Extremism and many others. Superintendent Rydzik has been at the forefront of Community Policing and Community Mobilization, working side by side, in partnership with Toronto's diverse communities for the past 15 years.

Dr. Tanya Sharpe

Dr. Tanya Sharpe is an Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Social Work in the Global Community at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on examining sociocultural factors that influence the coping strategies of Black surviving family members and friends of homicide victims for the purpose of developing culturally appropriate interventions that can best assist them in their management of grief and bereavement. She has developed, implemented and evaluated community-based programs for children and families coping with: interpersonal violence (e.g., homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, human made and natural disasters). Her comprehensive Model of Coping for African American Survivors of Homicide Victims (MCAASHV) (Sharpe, 2015) has informed; culturally appropriate interventions (Sharpe, Iwamoto, Massey & Michalopoulos, 2018), a tool of measurement for African American’s coping with homicide violence and best practices that support African American survivors of homicide victims throughout their process of grief and bereavement.

Priyanka Sheth

Priyanka Sheth is the Unit Director at Sistering, a low barrier 24/7 drop in center for homeless/ marginalized women struggling with mental health and addictions. She oversees the relevant portfolio of Harm Reduction; Case Support & Housing. This work stems from Priyanka’s personal journey of interaction with a woman who struggled with mental health and homelessness and was killed on the streets; this experience has very much impacted her world and shaped her work. Priyanka has 17 years of progressively significant roles within the Violence Against Women (VAW) sector, and brings extensive strategic, supervisory and front line service delivery experience within leading organizations successfully supporting racialized, special needs, recent immigrants and other marginalized community members across the GTA (including women’s shelters/social housing, employment, VAW/trauma counseling).

Jennefer Simo

Jennefer Simo is a Community Support Worker at St. Michael's Hospital. As a frontline worker in the Emergency Department, she is familiar with police-hospital protocols, the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) program, police-community partnerships as well as the role of court services. Jennefer identifies as indigenous and is a member of the Indigenous Community Advisory Panel for the United Health Toronto Network. Jennefer is an individual with lived experience both directly and indirectly, and she has family members who have experienced both addictions as well as mental health issues. She brings to MHAAP a familiarity with many key issues our community is facing as well as programs designed to assist with harm reduction and service delivery.

Deputy Chief Peter Yuen

Deputy Chief Peter Yuen is presently in charge of the Communities and Neighborhoods Command where he oversees the 17 front line divisions, Traffic Services, Parking Enforcement Unit and Community Partnerships and Engagement Unit. Prior to this assignment, Peter oversaw the Corporate Risk Management including Professional Standards and the Toronto Police College. Peter is the Ontario Regional Chair of the National Justice Committee, the Co-Chair of the Toronto Police Service Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams, Advisor on the Toronto Police Services Board Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, and also serves as the Senior Advisor to both the East and South Asian Internal Support Networks.

 

Objective and Terms of Reference

The main objective of the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP) is to review the implementation of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and to provide ongoing advice to the Board with respect to this important work.

The terms of reference of the MHAAP are as follows:

  1. To review, provide advice and make recommendations to the Board on an annual basis, at a minimum, related to monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, and other matters related to policy involving mental health and addictions issues, including but not limited to the areas of:
    1. Joint initiatives, partnerships, and collaborations such as the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) program, including enhancements and expansion.
    2. The training and education of Service members in the area of mental health and addictions.
    3. The use of weapons, tools and equipment, such as Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs).
    4. Data collection and analysis, including the collection, sharing and release of information related to mental health and addictions.
    5. Mechanisms related to accountability and oversight.

 

Recent Board Recommendations regarding MHAAP

The Board, at its meeting of August 18, 2020, approved 81 recommendations, putting into place a roadmap for comprehensive policing reform. These significant recommendations include building new community safety response models, initiatives to address systemic racism and concrete steps to improve trust with our communities.  They followed robust public engagement that occurred over the months of June, July and into August 2020, following thousands of messages that the Board received from members of the public on police reform, accountability, and community safety priorities.

As part of these recommendations, the following was approved:

Make MHAAP permanent and require MHAAP to:

  • review its terms of reference in consultation with the Board at least every 3 years or when otherwise required;
  • review its membership at least every 3 years or when otherwise required;
  • meet on a quarterly basis, at a minimum;
  • meet with ARAP annually; and
  • share its minutes with ARAP and convene a joint meeting when there are issues of mutual interest and significance. 

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