Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) was initially established as the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network (OMHAKEN), a knowledge exchange network designed to support the research of the System Enhancement Evaluation Initiative (SEEI). While SEEI was the initial impetus for the creation of EENet/OMHAKEN, it was always envisioned as a network that would outlive SEEI, and continue on as a mechanism for interaction between mental health and addiction researchers and research stakeholders across the province of Ontario.
EENet’s goal is to create and to share the knowledge about services and supports to build a better mental health and addictions system.
EENet works to improve the quality of mental health and addictions services, supports, research and policy by linking and engaging service providers, planners, researchers, decision-makers, policy-makers, consumer/survivors and families in knowledge creation and exchange across all levels of government and the health care system.
EENet bridges the worlds of service provision, planning, policy and research through initiatives such as:
- knowledge exchange meetings,
- training and education related to knowledge exchange, and,
- a website for communication purposes.
The network has been built from the ground-up, starting with the identification of knowledge exchange leads from each Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) mental health and addiction planning group.
Existing and new networks are linked in to EENet, resulting in a broad network of mental health and addictions stakeholders from across the province using a “network of networks” approach.
Why do we need a network like EENet?
The integration of new research findings into policy and practice is key to improving the mental health and addictions system, ultimately leading to a better quality of life for consumer/survivors and their families. Providing opportunities for communication between researchers, consumer/survivors, families, service providers, and decision-makers helps to ensure that:
- Research is relevant and likely to be applied,
- Allows for ongoing exchange of knowledge and experience, and
- Enables consumer/survivor participation in research.
EENet uses a ‘network of networks’ approach, a model that builds on the work of other already existing networks.
The network is supported by the EENet Management and Resource Centre, located at the Health Systems and Health Equity Research Group at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.