Dr. Ian Dawe - Family Resource Centre

Family Resource Centre

The Family Resource Centre (FRC) is a dedicated, therapeutic space for families to share knowledge, access resources and connect with other families for support and encouragement. 

Text Transcript

Hello Everyone. I’m Dr. Ian Dawe and I’m the physician-in- chief here at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. I want to express my sincere appreciation and thanks for all of you coming today to celebrate our much anticipated Family Resource Centre. Throughout my career I’ve been a long and passionate advocate for family participation in the mental health system as true partners. As many of you know, I’ve had experience with my own family and my loved ones within the health care system, and as such I have and appreciation and an understanding of how a Family Resource Centre such as this would have greatly benefited me and my family in our journey of recovery.  You know, recovery is a process and it is a journey.

It’s a long-lasting and meaningful move towards an individual living in their community to the best of their potential. But too often, families have been excluded from that process. Whether it is was because of a mistaken belief that families were the cause of the mental illness, or because of privacy legislation which values the individual living with the illness, families have too often been shut out of the health care process. Understandably, we feel frustrated when the information we want to share is ignored or dismissed, and troubled when we’re not told and brought up to spend on the developments of our loved one’s care.

At Ontario Shores, we know the real impact of illness on families. For major mental illness, approximately 60% of people with a first episode psychosis return to live with their families following their first hospitalization. With further hospitalizations, that number drops only an additional 10 or 20%. In dementia care, care is provided at home by families for an average of 3.7 years prior to clinical assistance even being sought. In child and adolescent care, families and parents struggle with profound, complicated grief reactions with faced with a sick child. We often struggle with challenges and questions whether we should have done something differently. We fear the stigma, and often live in the shame of the perceived, negative views of other parents. But, collectively, we can do something differently. We have a dedicated team of individuals and volunteers here at the Family Resource Centre to truly make a difference, to provide our community with the information and the supports they need to navigate these challenges.

As a physician-in- chief I personally really look forward to individual opportunity to drop into the Centre and interact with many of you. We know how challenging this time can be, but we are delighted to play a role in bringing this forward to support families, as well as their loved ones, in true recovery process. Again, I’d wish to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for coming today to celebrate this journey and this opening, and I look forward to the continued growth of our Family Resource Centre as a true, valuable community resource.