About Us

OFCAN is a not-for-profit organization operated by dedicated volunteers and fueled by their passion for change.

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.

We exist because people with mental health issues are under served in Ontario 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 addictions, 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.

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Mission

To develop a community of Ontario family caregiver organizations in mental health and addictions through information sharing, supporting strong partnerships and providing a collective voice.

Vision

An Ontario Mental Health and Addictions healthcare system that values and empowers family caregivers.

Mandate

The establishment and operation of a mental health caregiver network for the purpose of:

  • building a strong network of family groups who have the shared goal of enhancing mental health care and addiction services;
  • fostering relationships and exchange of information between individuals and organizations involved in the provision of mental health and addiction care; and
  • educating and encouraging communication and partnerships between family caregiver groups.

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“OFCAN is a significant agency for change.”

~ Liz Taylor, Founding member