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Enabling planners and providers to track mental health care and outcomes over time

Impact Highlights

  • The first system-wide, standardized performance indicators for the mental health sector in Canada.
  • An ICES-led five-province collaboration that is defining indicators for national comparisons.
  • Ongoing scorecards that enable planners and providers across the mental health sector to track care and outcomes over time.

The Scientist

Paul Kurdyak

“Largely due to stigma, we've never before been able to meaningfully evaluate or plan for mental health and addictions services in Ontario. With this new capacity to collect and analyze data across sectors, we can finally move past unaccountable service siloes into a future that holds the promise of a coherent and efficient system available to all people who need care”
Paul Kurdyak, Senior Scientist and Lead, Mental Health and Addictions Research Program

The Story

The Problem

Mental health and addictions services in Ontario have long been known to be fragmented and lacking coordination and accountability. But the full extent of the problem has been impossible to quantify, much less fix, without system-wide, cross-sector measurement.

The Research

Bar chartIn addition to publishing dozens of peer-reviewed papers each year, ICES' Mental Health and Addictions Research Program produces its keystone Mental Health and Addictions Scorecard and Evaluation Framework (MHASEF) report every two years.

Partnerships underway in 2017/18 include a collaborative report with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network that looked at the needs of and care trajectories for the clients of over 100 community providers. The program is also consulting on the development of a provincial sector-wide scorecard and a mental health and addictions sector data strategy that is now underway.

Recent Impact

  • Map of CanadaThe MHASEF reports provide system-wide standardized performance mental health and addictions indicators for all child/youth and adult populations across Ontario, a first in Canada.
  • These ICES-developed indicators have been adopted for similar measurement in other Canadian jurisdictions, with ICES leading a five-province performance measurement indicator project and consulting on work at the Canadian Institute for Health Information to further define indicators and diagnostic groups.
  • The program continues to work with multiple Ontario ministries and service agencies to produce data and analyses that make it possible to benchmark and target performance improvements, whether locally or across sectors, as part of Ontario’s mental health and addictions strategy.

Posted January 2019

Published in the 2017-18 ICES Annual Report

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