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CMHA Places Cowichan Branch on Probation

A report detailing problems with services delivery, accountability, and transparency has landed the Cowichan Valley branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association on probation for one year.

CMHA British Columbia says the “probationary status” comes after an external report by Victoria lawyer Joanna Gislason into three complaints made late last year.

CMHA BC says there were two complaints of alleged misconduct by members of the branch’s management staff and the board of directors. The third complaint was general in nature and dealt with concerns about mismanagement at the branch.

The Cowichan Valley Branch requested an external investigation.

The provincial division of CMHA says 28 witnesses were interviewed and a review of detailed records and information identified a number of issues at the Cowichan Valley branch.

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The problems related to governance, management, and operations within CMHA Cowichan’s housing programs.

The Provincial office will oversee a plan to implement all of the recommendations in the investigation report.

The plan includes, “training related to Board governance, cultural safety and humility, a review of all housing programming, dispute resolution, and ongoing transparency with all key accountability and operational documents.”

CMHA BC says if the plan is not properly implemented, the Cowichan Branch may no longer being able to use the “Canadian Mental Health Association” name.

A public version of the report will be available next week.

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