Our History

Note: In this historical overview the reader will see references to the Ontario Coalition of Mental Health Professionals (the Coalition) and the Ontario Alliance of Mental Health Practitioners (the Alliance). Prior to May 2012, the Coalition consisted of 12 associations and 5 supporting organizations working together as a coalition on various issues related to the regulation and counselling and psychotherapy in Ontario. In May 2012, two organizations left the Coalition. The remaining organizations continued on with the same goals and mandate as the original organization.

Due to an legal issue, the remaining organizations made the decision to rename the group to the Ontario Alliance of Mental Health Practitioners. Until May 2012, this history reflects the shared work of all of the organizations that belonged to either of the above mentioned groups.

To view more information and activity for each period, click on the year.

Health Professions Legislative Review began with the purpose of updating the Health Disciplines Act and developing new legislation to govern the health professions. The report resulting from this review was entitled Striking a New Balance: A Blueprint for the Regulation of Ontario's Health Professions.

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) came into effect. The principle underlying this legislation was to protect the public from harm. The Act is reviewed every 5 years in order to make changes as deemed necessary in the public interest. The Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) accepts public input on the legislation and summarizes recommendations to the Minister of Health on changes to the Act.

HPRAC produced a discussion paper entitled Weighing the Balance: A review of the Regulated Health Professions Act. This document initiated the first public review of the RHPA.

HPRAC produced a report entitled Adjusting the Balance: A Review of the Regulated Health Professions Act. The report summarizes public input, provides analysis and lists recommendations for changes to the RHPA. [click year to view more details]

The Ontario Coalition of Mental Health Professionals was formed to address the issues raised by the above recommendations. [click year to view more details]

Sunrise/Sunset and Changes in Scope of Practice Criteria Review: An HPRAC Discussion Paper was released. This invited public input on the criteria to be used in making changes to the legislation. A submission to HPRAC was made based on this paper.

The Coalition made a submission to the Ministry of Community and Social Services requesting regulation under the Social Work Act. This ensured that all options were kept open. [click year to view more details]

HPRAC submitted its report to the Minister April 27, 2006. The HPRAC report was publicly released on May 19,2006. The report recommended the regulation of Psychotherapy using an Enforceable Scope of Practice. The report also narrowly defines Counselling and does not recommend its regulation. [click year to view more details]

The consultant and legal counsel for the Coalition advised analyzed the draft legislation and recommended to the Steering Committee that the legislation be endorsed and that we should lobby for swift passage during the current session before the summer recess and provincial election on October 10. [click year to view more details]

Due to an election and a change in the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care the appointment of the Transitional Council was delayed. Lobbying continued with government officials to ensure that the Transitional Council would be appointed.

In November 2009 the Transitional Council was appointed.

The Coalition's work continued but the shifting government personnel posed a challenge. The Coalition position statements were delivered to the Transitional Council and were quoted in their work. Documents were prepared, delivered, and presented to both the Legislative Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions and the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Letters were delivered regarding the new HST and its effect upon membership to both the Federal and Provincial Finance Ministries. [click year to view more details]

The Coalition's advocacy work and preparation of position statements continued. Many meetings were held with ministry officials, the Transitional Council, and politicians. The Steering Committee was present at all of the public consultations held on the Regulations and at all public Transitional Council meetings. [click year for more details]

An additional round of consultations was held on the RMHT designation and the word “indigenous”. The Coalition continued to advocate for the master’s level and two title issues. There were some members of the Coalition who felt that the Coalition issues were not being heard. The Coalition met on March 31, 2012 and conducted an exercise to determine points of consensus.