blueballoon Health Services Affirms Commitment to Improvements in Mental Health Services for Canadians
The first-ever mental health strategy was released by the Canadian Mental Health Commission yesterday. It calls on those invested in Canadian health care to work together to ‘create a mental health system that meets the needs of people with mental health issues and their families’.
Toronto, May 9, 2012 – In light of the mental health strategy released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, blueballoon Health Services is poised to strengthen its commitment and dedication to the improvement of mental health services for children, adolescents and adults in Southern Ontario.
The strategy, entitled Changing Directions Changing Lives, focuses on several strategic areas, and calls on government, policy-makers, citizens and service providers across sectors to increase awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and collaborate on overall improvement and access to mental health services for Canadians.
blueballoon Health Services was founded in 2004 on similar principles. CEO Stephen MacEwen identified a need while seeking out services for his son. Noticing there were gaps in the public sector that made it difficult to get timely assessment and treatment for children with developmental, physical, and mental health challenges, Stephen and his sister Heather MacEwen modeled an organization around bridging these gaps and providing families with another option: one that was both timely and offered a wide range of health services for children, young adults and families.
“The intent was to support families who were having incredible difficulty navigating a complicated system, like we were, and who were not getting what they needed,” says blueballoon CEO Stephen MacEwen. “We built blueballoon around a long-term vision of seamless integrated services where blueballoon would function as an integral part of the overall healthcare system through public and private partnerships.”
“When we first opened our doors, healthcare specialists in the public system didn’t want to have anything to do with us,” says Heather MacEwen, co-founder & Managing Director. “Our system is evolving – It’s only on occasion that I hear comments like ‘we can’t work with you because you’re not in the public system’, which were commonplace eight years ago. When we do – we address it head on with our public counterparts so that we can ensure we work together to do what’s right for the families. Clearly, we’ve all learned that partnerships will ultimately support improved quality and efficiency of services, and access to those in need. While we’ve come a long way, the new Canadian mental health strategy underscores the continued need to strengthen these relationships to do what’s right for people living with mental health issues.”
blueballoon recently joined the Children's Treatment Network (CTN) in York Region as a Network Partner. Working with CTN will enhance the ease of accessing services and facilitate the creation of effective programs for children requiring services in that area. blueballoon will continue to seek out partnerships with organizations dedicated to improving health care for children and access for families.
blueballoon Health Services currently offers a number of programs and services that support the new Canadian mental health strategy, including:
- Working with the community, families, educators, and those involved in the care of children to increase awareness and understanding of conditions like anxiety, behaviour issues, and bullying; to ensure children and those involved in their care understand how best to handle situations for stable mental health and the general well-being of all involved.
- Commitment to the importance of providing early intervention services, and no waiting lists, as well as supports and education so that parents and caregivers know what to watch for - research shows early intervention at a young age means a higher likelihood of success and independence later in life, lessening potential future burdens on the health care system.
- A unique approach that provides highly specialized services, and a team of skilled professionals in several disciplines, including Psychology and Behaviour Therapy, all collaborating to provide intensive and acute treatment in several areas and in cases where complex or multi-disciplinary treatment is needed.
For more information or to arrange interviews with any of our team including, co-founders, Clinical Experts or families who have had difficulties navigating the health care system please contact: Melanie Scott, Communications blueballoon Health Services 519-616-9865,
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