Welcome to the Social Entrepreneurism in Mental Health website!
People with new ideas to address major problems who are relentless in the pursuit of their visions, people who simply will not take “no” for an answer, who will not give up until they have spread their ideas as far as they possibly can.” Bornstein, 2007
Results of the 2012 Social Enterprise in Mental Health Equity Competition are in!
Expanding upon our first project we have launched a competition to find Toronto social enterprises that foster mental health equity and social inclusion. This competition has helped us to identify and highlight some of the city's most exciting and innovative strategies for reducing mental health disparities. We had an extremely strong field of applicants and a very difficult time determining winners and runners up. The results of the competition are:
Good Foot Delivery (1st place)
Clean Works (2nd place)
Rise Asset Development (3rd place)
FABARNAK Restaurant and Catering
Out of This World Café
Parkdale Green Thumb Enterprises
The Objective of SEMH
The Social Entrepreneurism in Mental Health (SEMH) research group focuses on attempting to better understand how mental health equity can be achieved through the application of social entrepreneurial principles in mental health care. Our goal is to learn from the people who have transformed innovative ideas into highly effective services—to articulate the models upon which their services are based and the implications of their work for policy development—to share new ways to more effectively address the pervasive health disparities that exist in our society.
What is social entrepreneurism in mental health?
Key Attributes of Social Entrepreneurship in Mental Health Equity:
- Highly innovative – addressing mental health (broadly defined) in ways that represented new approaches to care.
- Sustainable – the innovative approach has been both successfully implemented and has also demonstrated sustainability fiscally and otherwise.
- Reach and transferability – the approach has successfully and meaningfully engaged the communities served and represents a model that could be implemented in other jurisdictions and at other times.
- Effective and Resourceful – the individuals involved readily take advantage of opportunities to expand their work and demonstrate a strong capacity to persevere despite few resources and other forms of adversity.
Who we are
SEMH was developed by Drs. Sean Kidd and Kwame McKenzie. Both are research staff at the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and faculty with the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry.
The Project that Launched SEMH
SEMH was grew from a research project funded by the University of Ottawa Population Health Improvement Research Network. In this project we assembled and led a committee composed of recognized leaders in service provision among Aboriginal, LGBTQ, immigrant, refugee, and homeless persons to determine the programs and organizations in Toronto that have broken new ground in conceptualizing and developing mental health services in each of these sectors. Working with this committee, we engaged in an intensive search process to identify exemplary organizations and chose five such organizations to participate in an in-depth analysis of their work. Case studies were then completed with each of these organizations to identify factors that have been critical to their success.
This project culminated in the Knowledge Transfer event held at the Toronto MaRS Discovery District on March 3, 2011 entitled Learning from the Groundbreakers: Models of Innovation in Addressing Mental Health Equity in Toronto (PDF only).
NEW: SEMH roadmaps for providers and decision makers
Based on our own research and reviews of the social entrepreneurship and service implementation literatures SEMH has compiled two roadmaps for service providers and decision makers. They have been designed to help providers develop stronger services within a social entrepreneurship framework and assist decision makers with identifying criteria that characterize service providers who are likely to have the greatest impacts on mental health disparities.
Now available: Models of Innovation in Addressing Mental Health Equity in Toronto (PDF only) - the presentation made at the launch event on March 3 in Toronto at MARS.