CAPA travels to Canada!

Warm people, cold weather. Cars that stop to let you cross. Experts in clearing snow (we could learn a thing or two here!). We had a wonderful time running CAPA training in Halifax, Nova Scotia 26 Nov to 1st Dec.

We were very excited when Sharon (Clark) from IWK invited us to run CAPA training at the Chocolate Lake Hotel.  No Willy Wonka in sight though! Day 1-2 was for clinicians and 3 for managers and others from the Province. Sharon had heard of CAPA from one of their clinicians who had worked in a CAPA team in New Zealand. The world is a very small place it seems!

IWK is the main provider of mental health services in Nova Scotia. We were struck by their enthusiasm about the service transformation CAPA can bring. The current services, although developed in good faith, are no longer able to provide responsive, quick access that they crave. Anxiety about their waits to non-urgent appointments had felt overwhelming until now…

The wonderful Maureen MacDonald, Health and Wellness Minister, opened the first day and we were struck by her resolute commitment to the project. She is a fantastic champion for children’s mental health- her praise for the hard work of the staff was particularly welcome. Then the day spurred on, tailored to people’s needs as we went. We talked about a focus on what people want, how to offer choices and let go when enough has been done. We were filmed (will we ever dare watch this!) and interviewed by a news journalist from the Chronicle Herald.

In Day 3 we worked with paediatricians, child and adult mental health practitioners, managers and the Department of Health. We focused on different viewpoints and system-free CAPA. How does CAPA help the service user, manager, clinician, administrator and funder? Everyone took something away.

Breakfast with the psychiatrists (the biggest plate of pancakes you ever did see!), bring and share supper at Sharon’s on Tuesday evening and a Q&A lunch before we went. A packed visit. Can’t wait to hear how things go for Nova Scotia!

Thank you for having us! We loved being with a new ‘family’.



About Steve and Ann
We are the designers, trainers and developers of CAPA.

2 Responses to CAPA travels to Canada!

  1. steve says:

    It is amazing that almost every CAMH team in every country we have been to have the same issues. They feel overworked and under-resourced! And in a time of change. And often they have systems that actually get in the way of working smoothly. IT systems, “assessment” forms, prescribed reporting formats and professional silos.

    Halifax was great. So friendly with really keen and engaged managers. Cant wait to see how their waiting list evaporates in the spring…


  2. sharon clark says:

    What can we say?
    CAPA has come to Canada – starting on the east coast and traveling west.

    From the moment Steve and Ann’s feet touched Nova Scotia soil we had days filled with learning and laughter, and a few musical moments inbetween. We received amazing feedback from our staff who participated in the CAPA training. Here’s what some of them had to say:

    “You brought human back into the work we do. Treat others as we expect to be treated.”

    “I love Apple computer products. They work. Someone with a lot of genius made them simple, practical & human. You folks have done the same with Capa. It just makes sense.”

    “CAPA will work and we can be more efficient while including the client and family in a transparent way.”

    “Change is possible & necessary.”

    “Don’t change your presentation style – great chemistry and energy”.

    We are just about to launch our Waitlist Blitz – between the months of January – March dedicated to meeting with families for a Choice appointment. There is a lot of anxiety and nervousness about this next step, but also hope for a system that will be more responsive to families and support clinicians better in the work they do. We all want to be free from a waitlist that has caused stress for families and us as clinicians, and can’t wait to imagine the possibilities that will exist for us once CAPA is fully implemented across our services. It’s still hard for us to believe this can all be true.

    We look forward to hearing from other areas around the world who are implementing CAPA – and already have appreciated so much the support and tips we have received from New Zealand through the Werry Centre.

    Come back to Canada soon Steve and Ann – there’s a lot of music here we didn’t have time to get to, not to mention a snow storm or two.

    Here we go! We’re ready to take a “leap into transparency”… one of my favorite Steveisms.


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