We connect groups in Ontario who support family caregivers of people with mental health and addiction issues. In communities across this province many dedicated volunteers are working hard in caregiver groups to enhance care services. These groups that share similar goals have been working in isolation and can now benefit from sharing information about lessons learned via this network. OFCAN helps the members of these groups connect and enables them to be empowered through this united voice.
OFCAN is a not-for-profit organization operated by dedicated volunteers who fueled by their passion for change, fulfill the duties of 1.5 paid staff to operate this network.
We exist because people with mental health issues are under served in Canada and the caregivers who support them have received little attention. The needs of OFCAN caregivers differ from other caregivers in significant ways:
- Due to ongoing stigma of mental health and addiction our family caregivers are more isolated and often do not experience the same support responses from their communities.
- Our family caregivers are more likely to be excluded from care planning due to stringent practices around consent to share health information.
- Lack of community support programs for people with mental health and addiction has placed the responsibility on families to provide this type of service for their loved ones who have complex needs.
- The scope of caregiver requirements is broad and extends to legal advocate, providing long-term housing, acquiring recovery skills, psycho-social training, financial management etc.