Todd Leader, RSW, RPsych
Todd, an alumnus of Cape Breton University and Memorial University of Newfoundland, is a Registered Psychologist and a Registered Social Worker. He has spent the last 26 years working as a transformational leader in health services and in health promotion, particularly in the areas of mental health, addictions, and primary health care. He has also been teaching in the Faculty of Science at Saint Mary’s University for the same 26 years. Todd has earned the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association. As well, health services under his leadership have earned two international best practice awards, and a leadership award for excellence in women’s health.
Most recently, he was appointed by the Nova Scotia Minister of Health and Wellness to the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions. Todd has been the President of the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia, a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Public Health Association, and is currently the President-Elect of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia. Todd has spent his whole career working as an advocate for client-centered health services, and evidence-based healthy public policy. His most recent accomplishment is that he has written a book called “It’s Not About Us; The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada”.
It’s Not About Us is a guide to improving the client experience with the mental health and addiction system across Canada. It examines the traditional and current pathology-oriented medical model, within which all of our services are built, and looks at how that model actually prevents the transformation we need. This book presents a new way to think about what it means to be client-centered, not only at an individual level, but also at the level of system-design and operation. It is based on compelling principles and a real success story – a program in Nova Scotia that transformed its approach to providing service, based on client-centered system design. That program significantly improved quickness and ease of access for clients, and also enhanced its capacity to prevent addictions and mental illness.
In Canada, many have tried to improve services. They have instinctively called for more money, therapists, and psychiatrists, or have focused on improving clinical skills of staff. Unfortunately, more of the same has repeatedly failed to address the concerns of the clients and the public, because it is not fundamental change. We need to replace our traditional model that is designed from an expert and management-focused viewpoint, and start to look at the system the way it is seen and experienced by clients and the public.
If you or a loved one have been affected by addiction and mental health issues, and have tried or wanted to advocate for a better system, this book will help you do that. If