5 Things You Need to Know – July President’s Message

This message is all about connection. In fact, the focus of our conference this year is connection. I’d like to take a moment of your time to outline the connections we’ve been making on your behalf – with government officials, with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and indeed with all of you through the supports we’re offering. We’ve been active on your behalf and it’s delivering results.


1. OAMHP Conference Sept 29 & 30 – Connecting in Person Again

Date: September 29 & 30, 2023

Location: Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown Hotel (249 Queen’s Quay West, Toronto)

In our profession, it can often be very easy to get used to working alone. While we moved online during the pandemic, it came with its own set of hazards. Loneliness increased, stress increased, and the need for mental health support increased.

As experts in the field of mental health, we know the value of human connection.

When we meet in person there's often a spark when ideas are shared, a buzz when minds connect. As this year's conference is focusing on the need for self-care, what better way than to attend and leave inspired and reinvigorated?

Meeting with your peers is a chance to connect with like-minded professionals during breaks, meals, and the social events. Seize the opportunity to build a powerful support network that will extend beyond the conference.

Please visit the Conference website to review the sessions. The Professional Development Committee, led by Jennifer Lane, along with our hard-working staff, have put together a great line up, which reflects our focus on self care for mental health professionals. Our hope is that the sessions will equip you with innovative techniques and strategies to enhance your therapeutic practice.


PS: There are only a few days left until our early bird deadline ends. We encourage you to register by July 9 to get the preferred rate. After July 10, the registration rate increases.


PPS: We are also seeking your opinions on how we can ensure future conferences meet your needs. Please complete the survey below, which will only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Thanks in advance.


2. Engagement with Regulatory Colleges: College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, College of Psychologists, and Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

We continue to work closely with our colleagues on the regulatory side with the goal of ensuring interactions with you, our members, are as smooth as possible. This has included informing CRPO’s case-based assessment (CBA) process by helping refine the questions and expected answers for the coming assessments. We have also contributed our perspectives to the College’s supervision tool (under development), which is intended to help supervisors build competence.

We also share that CRPO is developing a trauma informed approach to the complaints process that will prove of benefit to our members. It explicitly considers the psychological impact on RPs and staff who undergo the complaints process, works to render the process more inclusive, as well as more collaborative. Shifting to a less confrontational and more understanding model of complaint resolution supports our members, some of whom have been shaken by the original process.

We continue to reach out to establish a relationship with each of the colleges that regulate our members. To that end, representatives from the CRPO, CPO and OCSWSSW have been invited to attend the Annual Conference. Participants will have an opportunity to ask the representatives questions pertaining to regulation.


3. Supporting You Through QA Assessments

CRPO quality assurance assessments continue to be a cause of some anxiety for our members. In response to this, Jane Alway and I held two prep sessions in April and will hold two more sessions in October, coinciding with CRPO’s November assessment schedule. The feedback was very positive and validated that we succeeded in providing the guidance, comfort and understanding our members needed to succeed.

In the spirit of building a positive and supportive environment for our members, we have also initiated work on a conflict resolution process applicable to staff, board and committee members. This will help address interpersonal conflict. We expect to implement this by the fall.


4. Advocacy

Our engagement efforts with both political and civil service at the provincial and federal levels continues to be busy and productive.

In April we met with Associate Minister Michael Tibollo’s staff and with Kyle McIntyre (Assistant Deputy Minister, Mental Health and Addictions Division, Ministry of Health). The meeting was positive and provides the opportunity to expand our influence and deepen our relationships with them. We raised the key HST issue and discussed how to best integrate RPs into the health care system, including collaborations with Family Health Teams. There was also opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of RPs in the Ontario Public Service benefits plan.

There was a very fruitful meeting with the Ministry of Finance to discuss the HST and its negative impact on the mental health of Ontarians earlier in June. We feel like we are finally being heard and look forward to the next steps to eradicate this unnecessary tax.


5. The Value of Connection

Finally, as we look ahead to our Conference in September, I want to remind you of the value of relationships. As mental health professionals, the connections we form with the people we care for are what help us succeed. Our connections with each other help us stay well and care for ourselves and advance our profession. We are social creatures, which is why getting together is so very important. I will leave you with the words of Brené Brown:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Wishing you a wonderful and restful summer and looking forward to seeing you at the Conference.

Most sincerely,

Liana Palmerio-McIvor, RP, (Cert-S) OAMHP

President, OAMHP

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