Addiction Services of Thames Valley merging with local mental health associations

One person comforts another. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Nikki24

Three London-area mental health and addiction agencies are joining together to form one of the largest branches of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Canada.

Addiction Services of Thames Valley (ADSTV), Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Elgin Middlesex, and Canadian Mental Health Association Oxford announced the merger on Tuesday. The three agencies spent the past several months working together at the governance, leadership, and staff levels before agreeing to formally become one agency. The boards of directors for all three voted unanimously in favour of the move.

The new agency will be known as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services. It will be lead for the next 12 to 18 months by Beth Mitchell, the CEO of CMHA Elgin Middlesex and Linda Sibley, the executive director of Addiction Services of Thames Valley.

“The integration of addiction and mental health services will be a game-changer for our communities,” said Sibley. ” In order to ensure we do not lose our specializations, Beth and I will work as a team to lead this important integration.”

Lynn Wardell, the current executive director of CMHA Oxford, has been named the new vice president of program operations and Oxford site director of the new agency. Despite the larger size of the agency, Wardell stated there will be a focus on keeping services in each community.

“Through this approach, we will have regional centres, hubs, and mini-hubs throughout the Thames Valley region, creating programming across county boundaries – current boundaries that can get in the way of great service,” said Wardell.

A new board of directors and leadership team to lead the integrated agency will be selected in the coming months. It is anticipated the merger will be finalized this summer.