Chantal Makela and Tina Ranta

Canadian Mental Health Association

Problem Statement

Launch and Explore

Currently all of CMHA services are offered during hours of operation, Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:00pm. According to client feed back there is a need for better access to services. The community service agency decided to take this challenge head on. The problem statement was defined:

There is a limited access to CMHA services as services are only offered during regular work hours, 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday.

Background / Current Conditions:

When gathering background information concerning the current conditions of the Residential programs, it was found that support to individuals within residential programming is offered until 6pm. Furthermore, rehabilitation practitioners offer meeting times to individuals’ after hours if the need is identified by the individual. Such meetings occur off site in the community for safety precaution.


Satisfaction survey responses from; service recipients, non-participating staff and community agencies indicated a need for extended hours. Mental Health reviews have supported this conclusion in 

demonstrating the need for extended hours for access to mental health services.

Community partners also indicated, through a partnership survey, that extended hours would assist their agencies with referral opportunities after hours. However, there are no additional resources for staffing at the agency and we are not able to pay staff more to participate.


Upon analysis of the background information and surveys conducted it was decided that a pilot program to provide evening availability and use of Info & Referral Services, Intake Program & Brief Services to see if this would solve the problem for limited access to services. 

A community needs assessment for general public, individuals served and community organizations to identify need as well as what is working during project would then be conducted. 

Furthermore, the incorporation of a trial of the inclusion of a compressed work week model for staff as to avoid incurring any additional costs. 

The end goal of this pilot project is to potentially expand the program to other programs. 


The Agency has increased direct service hours from 35 hours per week to 37 hours per week by increasing direct service hours by 2 one day per week. This has resulted in an increase in client interactions.

The increase hours offer the ability to double intake capacity to an additional potential of servicing another 125 individuals within one year based on the pilot study over a 12-week period at minimum. 

This is on average an additional 10 individuals receiving service a month. All this can be obtained without incurring any additional staffing costs

Executive Summary 

Tina Ranta Manager of Harm Reduction Home and Chantal Makela Manager of Administrative Services from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)- Sudbury/Manitoulin, worked together to address the limited access clients had to agency services. By using Lean productivity tools Tina and Chantal where able to collect and analyze data in order to create a clear goal and successfully address their problem statement. By implementing a pilot program, it was confirmed that there was a need for greater access to care.