The Canadian Mental Health Association Nipissing Regional Branch has responded to the news that its Branch Charter was notified by email on Friday, July 5th by the CMHA Ontario Division Board of Directors of their decision to revoke the Branch Charter.
The CMHA noted in a statement late last week that “for more than three years, CMHA Ontario has, in good faith, engaged in a collaborative approach with the branch to encourage integration with local partners but to no avail."
Margi Woods Clarke, Executive Director of the Nipissing Branch, noted that for more than 40 years CMHA Nipissing has worked collaboratively with multiple cross-sector partners to find creative solutions to service delivery issues.
She says CMHA Nipissing has been committed to and discussed integration for more than the last three years by providing services such as back-office support, office space to a number of partners as well as other similar types of supportive services. Notwithstanding the past collaboration of CMHA Nipissing,
"CMHA Nipissing was recently placed under undue pressure to commit to an integration process before completing its due diligence investigation," noted Woods Clarke.
She adds that specifically, CMHA Nipissing sought to clarify its legal obligations in order to be able to successfully advance the integration process. Prior to ensuring all its statutory and contractual obligations would be met by integration, CMHA Ontario revoked the charter of CMHA Nipissing.
“To say that I am sad is an understatement,” said Margi Woods Clarke, Executive Director in a release.
“To revoke the charter of a CMHA Branch with this legacy while conducting its due diligence, not for a legal, financial or service issue is beyond comprehension. I am grateful for the support of our partners who have reached out and the commitment of our incredible staff and Board of Directors as we navigate this process. l would like to take this time to reassure all those receiving services that we will do our best to minimize and ideally eliminate any service disruption.”
She continues that CMHA Nipissing has a proud history providing specialized services in the Northeast Region with a very dedicated staff and volunteer Board of Directors.
"The Branch is very proud of the many years of commitment that it has given to programs such as the North Bay Interlink Choir, Talk Today, Living Life to the Full and Bounce Back," she said.
"The Branch was one of six branches chosen nationally to pilot the Living Life to the Full program with the Veteran Family Program, was one of three pilot sites in Ontario for the Talking About Mental Illness Program at its inception, and very proudly supported the Talk Today partnership with the OHL/NOJHL."