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Study and toolkit of CMHA Ottawa Condominium Program wins 2022 Paula Goering Collaborative Research Translation Award

Project led by uOttawa’s Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) and School of Psychology studying Housing First activities at CMHA Ottawa claims award in CAMH and U of T’s recognition of innovation in knowledge transfer efforts in MH&A services 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 – Alongside its friends and collaborators at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) and School of Psychology, CMHA Ottawa is proud to receive the 2022 Paula Goering Collaborative Research Translation Award for the winning submission, the CMHA Ottawa Condominium Program Study and Toolkit: Building Success in Housing First Treatment. 

The bi-annual Paula Goering award is sponsored by the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and recognizes innovative researcher–knowledge user collaboration for Integrated Knowledge Translation (IKT) in the area of mental health and addictions services. 

The winning study looks at the application of Housing First in CMHA Ottawa’s condominium program, which operates 40 units with a scattered-site approach, providing stable, dignified housing for clients of the agency. The results of the study led to the creation of a toolkit for program replication, written by the researchers from CRECS and designed by the team at the Ontario division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA Ontario).  

This year, two applicants tied for the highest rating in the highly coveted competition. CMHA Ottawa shares the award with the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for its winning submission, Engaging youth with mental health and/or addiction concerns in health care navigation and research. 

The announcement of the award, published on EEnet reads: “The awards committee was particularly impressed with how the Housing First project’s diverse advisory board shaped all phases from research question to end.” 

This winning project was led by Dr. Maryann Roebuck, CRECS, uOttawa; Lisa Medd, CMHA Ottawa; Dr. Tim Aubry, Dr. John Sylvestre, Ayda Agha and Stephanie Manoni-Millar, School of Psychology, uOttawa; and Leif Harris, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University and tenant. 

“We’re thrilled to be able to spread the word about this effective program,” says Dr. Roebuck. “CMHA Ottawa’s Housing First expertise is stellar – they follow the Housing First model closely, and as a result people who are homeless with severe mental illness get housed and stay housed. The organization deserves to be recognized.” 

CMHA Ottawa would like to congratulate and thank the winning team and recognize Michael McGee and Steven Clifford of the CMHA Ottawa Housing Team for their attentiveness to tenants’ needs and the daily operations of the program, in addition to many CMHA Ottawa frontline case managers who support the tenants, and of course to the wonderful condo tenants themselves, many of whom are long-term residents. 

CMHA Ottawa would also like to thank CAMH, the U of T Department of Psychiatry, and the judges of the competition for the honour of choosing the study and toolkit for the Paula Goering award. Lastly, congratulations to the team at the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook Health, with whom CMHA Ottawa is proud to share the award. 

Stay tuned for details on an upcoming virtual event to celebrate the winning teams as well as Dr. Goering’s vital contributions to making integrated knowledge exchange an important component of research. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch (CMHA Ottawa), is an independent, community-based non-profit organization that provides services for eligible individuals in the Ottawa area with severe and persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorder, many of whom are experiencing chronic homelessness or are vulnerably housed. CMHA Ottawa is dedicated to promoting good mental health, developing and implementing sustainable support systems and services, and encouraging public action to strengthen community mental health services and related policies and legislation. 

To learn more about the CMHA Ottawa Condominium Program and download the toolkit, visit the CMHA Ottawa website: https://ottawa.cmha.ca/cmha-ottawa-condo-toolkit/ 

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