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Mental Health Caregivers Association

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Mental illnesses and addictions have a devastating impact on quality of life because of the profound effect on the individual's ability to function effectively in all aspects of life - interaction with others including family members, education, employment, housing and so on. These challenges significantly stress the capacity of the ill person and their family members, and impact their quality of life along the journey to recovery.

Incorporation and Charitable Status

The Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) was incorporated as a charitable organization in 2008 and a charitable number was issued in late 2011. MICA was established with the intent of building on the efforts of the Ottawa Region, Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (a registered charitable organization) with a focus on a broader range of mental illnesses including bipolar, eating and personality disorders, anxiety, depression and addictions.

Impact on Quality Of Life

In 2012 MICA initiated a 'Quality of Life' study that had as its focus the impact of mental illness and/or addictions on the quality of life of both the ill person and family members as caregivers including:

In partnership with the HSJCC Champlain district, the Mental Illness Caregivers Association, the Ottawa Family Advocacy Centre, the Ottawa Region Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, Lanark County Mental Health, CMHA SD&G Prescott-Russell, Pembroke Regional Hospital discussion forums including caregivers and service providers were held in the following communities:

Challenges identified during the discussions forums were discussed in the context of the following:

MICA Vision

Families working together to provide innovative and responsive support to loved ones living with mental illness and/or addictions while easing caregiver burden.

Family Summit 1 - Caregiver Priorities

A Family Summit was held on 22 February 2013. It was attended by participants from all regions previously engaged in the discussion forums and follow-up sessions. The Summit concluded with all agreeing on priority solutions and the continued support of 'Champions' for each priority including the development of action plans going forward

Over the next several months MICA will continue to take a lead role in both encouraging and supporting families in taking ownership for development of actions plans and the implementation of solutions for the following caregiver priorities:

MICA Mandate

MICA Mandate - Provides support and education to families and caregivers of individuals living with mental illness by:

A Roadmap for Change

In addition to the above, MICA will manage all activities in the context of a change management strategy that is simply defined as a 'Roadmap for Change' that tracks progress and links all activities to caregiver priorities Roadmap For Change

Sustaining Momentum

In the interest of developing and sustaining momentum MICA will make every effort to:

Indicators Of Success

Addressing Caregiver Priorities and Sustaining Momentum - significant progress is made by families in implementing solutions resulting in positive feedback from both caregivers and their ill loved ones.

Engaged families and a growing membership - champions are engaged for each priority and they have the support of families as volunteers involved in the implementation of solutions. Membership has grown with representation from all regions of the Champlain district.

Building Partnerships - have successfully partnered with several government and private sector agencies in the development and implementation of solutions.

Family Summit 2 - Progress

A second Family Summit was held on 17 October 2014. It was attended by participants from the first Family Summit and by others who had chosen to engage on these issues

Presentations made at this meeting are available on the Family Summit page.

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