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Strategic Priorities

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Our priorities were developed through consultations with clients, funders, staff and community partners. To lead our work through years 2019-2024, we prioritized four areas:

  • service expansion
  • building awareness
  • strategic partnerships
  • organizational excellence

Service Expansion

Reducing waitlists and improving access to our programs is a top priority for ASCO.

We will prioritize expanding our services to new areas with a focus on group, case management, counselling, and addiction medical support. We have also expanded to offer Rapid Access Addictions Medicine (RAAM) services in six hospitals in Ontario.

Our goal is to continue to grow and meet the diverse needs of our communities, such as increasing our ability to serve individuals in languages other than English.

Service expansion includes brief intervention and innovative use of technology—to meet clients where they are and reduce barriers to getting them the help they need.

Building Awareness

We recognize that urgent action from all levels of government is needed to combat harm from substance use and overdose deaths. Through our active participation in key policy working groups, we have been getting the message out about addiction and mental health issues and system challenges.

Our highly skilled professionals have deep knowledge on substance use, addiction, mental health and evidence-informed treatment approaches. We provide supervision to college and university students in counsellor training programs, and are expanding our school and community workshop offerings.

Awareness also means letting individuals and families know how and where to reach us. We are working hard to let more people know we are here for them when they need us.

Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration

Ontario Health Teams

Mental health and addiction challenges have been made a key priority for Ontario Health Teams.

ASCO was deeply involved in the development of several applications to establish Ontario Health Teams, ensuring a coordinated continuum of care for individuals and their loved ones seeking help for addiction and mental health concerns.

ASCO is officially a key partner on three Ontario Health Teams, and currently supporting committee work in one other. We continue to collaborate on additional submissions.

Wellness Collaborative

ASCO continues to lead the Wellness Collaborative—a partnership of six agencies providing services and support to individuals and their loved ones living with addiction.

Funded by the government of Ontario, this well-established partnership provides case management, peer support, outreach/street outreach, four publicly funded bed-based addiction services and Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinics (RAAM).

We are also prioritizing partnerships where our clients look for help—and that is most often at a doctor’s office. Whether it is through video link, telephone or face-to-face, we are committed to making it easier for doctors to connect with us.

Organizational Excellence

During the last year, ASCO has been working hard on strengthening its work in Quality Improvement (QI). We look forward to increasing our QI initiatives and to providing an opportunity for clients and community partners to provide us with feedback.

One QI example is to increase our understanding of anti-oppression and anti-racism (AOAR).  Our Cultural Responsiveness, Equity and Inclusivity (CREI) Committee worked with an external consultant to develop and deliver training sessions for our staff. This two-day training was an important session, and we continue to work on the results.