Concurrent Sessions

A1 Building Strong Collaboration between Primary Care and Children’s Mental Health Services

Theme 1. Mental health and addictions

Presentation Details

  • Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018
  • Concurrent Session A
  • Time: 2:30 – 3:15pm
  • Room: Pier 2 & 3
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Clinical providers

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will understand how a strong collaborative program design – utilizing both Wraparound and Peer Support – enhances family capacity – within healthcare and mental health systems – with cost-efficiency
  2. Presenters will analyze this successful model of care and discuss its implementation
  3. Presenters will discuss possibilities for further growth and replication across provincial family health teams


In 2014, the Caroline Families First Wraparound Program (CFF) was introduced in Halton, Ontario.  Wraparound programs are evidence-based approaches that have been shown to have a positive impact in complex mental health care.  However, the Caroline Families First program is unique in its funding, location, and inclusion of a paid peer support role – which address many of the recommendations within the Mental Health Strategy for Canada.  This program is jointly funded by the Ministries of Health and Long-term Care and Child and Youth Services and co-led by a children’s mental health organization and a family health team.  The program is designed to improve the coordination between primary and community-based mental health care for children and youth with suspected or diagnosed mental health problems and illnesses that require multidisciplinary intervention.  The CFF programs family-centered approach involves care coordinators and paid Family Support Providers (peer supports with lived experience of raising children/youth with mental health challenges).  The program focuses on building the capacity of the families to support their children/youth and access and navigate the appropriate services that would better suit their need for intervention rather than relying on primary health care providers to provide services that are outside of their scope.  One of the hopes of the program is to allow for practitioners to practice at the top of their license by connecting families to a variety of supports that meet their needs.  • Presenters will share how they accessed funding to build the program.  • How to successfully replicate across the province   • Share their success stories  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of each team member


  • Michelle Domonchuk-Whalen, Program Manager, ROCK-Reach Out Center for Kids
  • Alexis Wenzowski, Program Team Lead, ROCK-Reach Out Center for Kids
  • Lori Chalklin, Program Physician Lead, Caroline Family Health Team
  • Kathleen Whittaker, Executive Director, Caroline Family Health Team

Authors & Contributors
See above