Tuesday, May 3, 2022: Angélique Ndorimana, a transitional case manager at CMHA Ottawa, generously shared the frontline perspective of community-based mental health and addictions (MHA) services and supports at the Canadian Mental Health Association — National Parliamentary reception for the occasion of Mental Health Week.
Ndorimana was part of a small delegation from the Ottawa branch of the CMHA in attendance at the event, held at ByWard Market restaurant The Hyde, which hosted such esteemed guests as the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., Minister of Mental Health and Addictions; Senator Dr. Stan Kutcher; Hon. Mike Lake, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Addictions and Suicide Prevention; and Gord Johns, NDP official critic for MHA and harm reduction. Also in attendance were stakeholders in MHA, including representatives from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health.
CMHA hosted the nonpartisan event to give space for Parliamentarians and mental healthcare sector stakeholders to come together, celebrate Mental Health Week amongst colleagues and make new connections. The reception was well-attended by over 50 stakeholders, including 15+ Members of Parliament and Senators.
“We work with the most vulnerable individuals in our society,” she said in conversation with CMHA CEO Margaret Eaton. “People who may not have access to the most basic things like phones — imagine setting up virtual care when you don’t have access to a phone or computer.”
Ndorimana took the opportunity to advocate for increased government investment in case managers, social workers, and services and wraparound supports that represent the social makeup of our community, to help organizations like ours meet the overwhelming need.