Todd Leader’s prescription for mental health services in Canada is timely. Todd has the benefit of experience on the frontlines in Nova Scotia where he led the change in service delivery to a model that focused on the needs of individual patients and their families over the interests of how providers want to organize services for their own convenience. Easy to say, hard to do. In this book Todd charts a path for policymakers and clinicians alike and he challenges all of us to think differently about how mental health services could be organized if we put ourselves in the place of those individuals seeking our care.
So, it turns out the secret to transforming care is no secret at all, it’s really better customer service. Actions and redesigned services that actually put people first is a major culture shift, one that is currently being enabled by the rapid uptake of digital health technology, a major shift that promises to democratize health care the way the Gutenberg Bible changed the face of religious culture. To operationalize the changes Todd envisions, to see that the phenomenology of client-centered care is in your hands, or your mobile device, will allow all of us to create better access to mental health services than we could have imaged if we remain tethered to the past, the way things have always been done.
The concept of client-centered care is not new. It exists as a principle claimed by all health care organizations. What is new about this book is that it provides us an approach to turn a principle into transformation, which has always been the most elusive part. By applying an approach that is not inherently clinical but is about systems instead, and by doing so from a client perspective, this book enhances our ability to move beyond the words and into action. Todd Leader has implemented change, he’s asking us to join him in a creating the future we want to see for better, more timely access to mental health and addiction services.
Dr. Peter Vaughan, CD
Deputy Minister, Department of Health and Wellness