Dr. Christine Purdon, Professor in the Department of Psychology and Executive Director of uWaterloo’s Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) recently invited MPP John Milloy to tour the CMHR facilities and speak with faculty, graduate students and staff about their mental health research, service and training mandates, and about mental health care in Ontario and across the country.
“It was really his interest and concern with mental health care that resulted in the visit” said Dr. Purdon, pointing out that Mr. Milloy has served as Minister of Community and Social Services and brings considerable knowledge of mental health care needs and service provision in Ontario.
Taking place on August 20, Mr. Milloy’s tour of the centre included a visit to the Cognitive Development Lab run by Dr. Elizabeth Nilsen as well as Dr. Purdon’s Anxiety Studies facility, which provided the opportunity to illustrate how the CMHR programs of research link directly with psychological service and clinical training. The visit allowed for an open exchange of questions and insights. “I think our messages were readily heard” said Dr. Purdon.
In turn, Mr. Milloy also spoke about the Government of Ontario’s initiatives in mental health, acknowledging that although awareness of mental health issues in adults has been raised, the actual needs of adults are not yet being as well met as they should. He also observed that the Government of Ontario has made significant progress in implementing initiatives to address the mental health needs of children.
With a goal to extend the reach of CMHR services and raise awareness of the role of psychology in understanding and treating mental health problems, Dr. Purdon was pleased with the outcome of the visit. “Mr. Milloy was engaged and interested in our work, and he gave us some excellent direction for how we could expand our role within the health care system and has already facilitated contact with relevant government organizations.”