In spring 2011 members of the Family Advisory Council of Regional Mental Health Care London decided to pursue the possibility of organizing a provincial Family Advisory Council Network. Contacts were made with other Family Advisory Councils of the Psychiatric hospitals across Ontario whose members quickly saw the benefits of sharing information and supporting each other.
Soon the Ontario Family Advisory Council Network (OFCAN) was formed with the primary goals of representing the interests of Family Councils of Mental Health Hospitals in Ontario and fostering the growth of family involvement within the hospital systems. In the fall of 2014 OFCAN extended membership to include Ontario community family caregiver groups and organizations with interests in mental health and addictions.
OFCAN increased its provincial profile by hosting a highly successful conference in the fall of 2014. Promotional materials now contained our new name: Ontario Family Caregiver Advisory Network (OFCAN)! The conference, entitled “Partnering with Family Caregivers – A Shift in the Recovery Paradigm”, had many highlights including the key note speaker, Ella Amir’s presentation on the “National Guidelines for a Comprehensive Service System to Support Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Problems and Illnesses”. The majority of the participants felt that what they had learned at the conference would have a positive impact on future interactions between their organization and the caregivers that they serve. Many thanks for support from Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and Mental Health Commission of Canada. Details of the conference are available in our 2014 Conference Report.
April 2015, OFCAN incorporated as the Ontario Family Advisory Caregivers’ Network, a non-profit volunteer operated organization.