Staff layoffs hit Addiction and Mental Health Services in the Kingston area

Canada Health

Most employees fear the day they are handed a layoff notice from their employer.

In early October, 22 employees for Addiction and Mental Health Services in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington were told they would no longer be employed, but it came with options.

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Addiction and Mental Health Services said it is preparing to speed up the recovery process for its clients, and by doing so, it is hiring highly educated and qualified personnel.

“To support the clients in a way that enhances their recovery we have had to make changes, so that means bringing in allied health professionals and staff with credentials in therapeutic services,” said Don Seymour, chief executive officer for AMHS-KFL&A.

He continued by saying that out of the 22 people laid off, only three have yet to be reassigned to another position.

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Seymour explained that they are a large enough organization that when layoff notices are given out to the employees, most of them, in turn, are reassigned to other positions.

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According to Steve Nield, supervisor for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the layoffs were brought to the employee union’s attention in June, but did not take effect until October 1st.

Neild went on to say the re-organization was done to improve efficiencies within the agency.

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Addiction and Mental Services is constantly advocating for more funding because the need is obvious, Seymour said — when people walk through downtown Kingston or in any community in Ontario, they see people who need the service.

Addiction and Mental Health Services is in the second stage of a three-stage construction project, as a new building is built in Kingston. That, Seymour said, was another factor in the layoffs.

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