We're accredited...or not
In 2012, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Peel branch made a big deal out of becoming "accredited", issuing press releases, posting notices, adding this to their literature; it was like a royal birth announcement.
CMHA Peel's web site says: "Canadian Centre of Accreditation accredited CMHA Peel with accolades. This was our first recognizable accreditation and was achieved with full involvement of Board and Staff."
"Accredited"; inspires confidence...trust. You'd think an "accredited" organization must know what they're doing and be good at it.
I wondered about this , as that wasn't my experience with CMHA Peel.
Looking into it, I found:
- the CCA accreditation is not just CMHA Peel's first accreditation, it's their only accreditation
- CCA isn't "accredited"
- CCA isn't part of or affiliated with any organization or agency
- CCA has no "official" status or standing with anyone
Basically, CCA is just a bunch of people, with no qualifications other than they're "a member of an organization that is participating in CCA", who go around "accrediting" other bunches of people.
So, what's the meaning or significance of CMHA Peel's CCA accreditation? In my opinion, based on my years of experience with CMHA Peel and what I've learned of the Canadian Centre of Accreditation, it's much like CMHA Peel's claim to "help" people with "serious and persistent mental illness"; BULLSHIT!...meaningless.
My experience with CMHA Peel is, partially, detailed here.
Following is the text of an e-mail exchange between Barbara Wiktorowicz, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Accreditation and myself:
ME to Barbara Wiktorowicz 16 March, 2014
I understand CMHA Peel is "accredited" by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation.
Using your posted criteria and based on my own experience with CMHA Peel, which is detailed in the attached documents, I find serious deficiencies in the following:
- respect for their dignity
- recognizing the social and physical environments that impact people's well being and health
- commitment to equity and to actively addressing barriers to service
- drive to improve outcomes for people
- integration of continuous learning, improvement and innovation
- decision making that is evidence based
- safe services
- most efficient use of resources
- social and ethical responsibility
- accountability and transparency
My shrink continues to assure me that I'm neither delusional nor irrational so I have to ask if the discrepancy between our views of CMHA Peel results from:
- accreditation based on payment rather than the professed criteria
- incredibly low standards
- unimaginable incompetence
- smoking crack
- more than one of the above
- other; please specify ______________________________________
As mentioned, the attached documents detail my own direct experience with CMHA Peel.
Perhaps, a more damning example of CMHA Peel's numerous deficiencies is their recent promotion of a lecture advocating "The Orthomolecular Approach" to the treatment of mental illness.
Barbara Wiktorowicz to ME 18 March, 2014
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email and attachments.
CCA does not have a formal process to review agencies in between their accreditations.
However, I will review what you sent and get back to you if I have any questions.
ME to Barbara Wiktorowicz 18 March, 2014
Thank you, for the response.
Not having a formal process to review agencies, between accreditations, isn't, necessarily or even likely, a bad thing; I'm not big on formality, myself.
You'll note my experience, with CMHA Peel, began prior to their CCA accreditation.
Without knowing what CCA's standards are, it's impossible to know whether or not CMHA Peel meets them or ever did.
While there's been a deterioration, you'll notice I was complaining of lack of service, lack of concern for my health, being disrespected by having my questions ignored and being discriminated against years ago; long before CMHA Peel received CCA accreditation.
Again, though, without knowing what CCA's standards are, it's impossible to know whether or not CCA being aware of my experience with CMHA Peel would have affected their accreditation.
ME to Barbara Wiktorowicz 13 May, 2014
I've been forced into the role of social activist and am attempting to publicize some of the failings I see in our, supposed, "social safety net".
To that end, I've created a web site at http://gyfhas.ga
The purpose of this message is to allow you an opportunity to comment prior to posting our e-mail exchange, which I will be doing after forty-eight hours.
Barbara Wiktorowicz to ME 14 May, 2014
Thanks for the heads up - I have no problem with your posting our communications to this website.
|GYFHAS||Hogtown, Ontario, Canada||E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|