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True Colors Shine Through at The White House


By Dr. Alex Abramovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, Social & Epidemiological Research Department

The True Colors Fund in New York City, co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, works towards ending LGBTQ youth homelessness. My colleagues at the True Colors Fund have persistently tried to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, America’s only Federal law that funds services for youth experiencing homelessness, they have also worked hard to ensure that the Act recognizes the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth. Read more

Stigma – Overcoming that last taboo


By Elizabeth Scott, an independent, Toronto-based writer and editor

I know what stigma feels like – frustrating, maddening, depressing. There really are no positive words to describe its impact on people and families that deal with mental health concerns.

I’ve pushed through stigma’s oppression on many occasions. Like an ugly shawl, stigma feels like a shroud, something embarrassing; a disgrace. It’s an awful word that evokes awful responses that are often based on misinformation and myth. Its effects are a modern day tragedy. Read more

Opening Doors, Exploring Walls and Breaking Barriers at CAMH

DoorsOpenBy Sandra Luccisano, CAMH Community Ambassador

One of the hats I am privileged to wear as a Community Ambassador in our First Impressions program is tour leader. Most people are unaware that we lead tours of our Queen Street Site almost every week of the year. Tour groups are primarily high school students who combine a tour of the grounds with a presentation from Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest but we also host adult students from various schools, programs and disciplines. Read more

Strong Medicine – the Psychiatrist of Tomorrow

CZ 2012By Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of CAMH

Originally published on Healthy Debate.

Mental health leaders have the opportunity for courageous change as they assemble in Toronto this week. Psychiatrists from around the world will be attending the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting, and I hope that there will be serious and thought provoking conversation on the future of the specialty. As a neurologist, new to the mental health sector, I have developed some strong opinions on the topic, and I see an opportunity for psychiatrists to transform their specialty towards better patient care, a more robust mental healthcare system and a more equitable society. Read more

Bread on the Brain – May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month


By Kelly Matheson, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Complex Mental Illness Program

Going gluten-free has become increasingly popular, with books like “Wheat Belly” and celebrity endorsements encouraging a gluten-free diet for weight loss, clear skin and overall good health. However for the 1 in 133 Canadians with a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, avoiding gluten is an absolute necessity to live a long and healthy life.

The Dietitians at CAMH are knowledgeable and the go-to resource about various sensitivities and allergies related to food that our patients may have. Since May is national Celiac Disease Awareness Month, the Dietitians at CAMH want to help you understand what Celiac Disease is, how it is different from gluten sensitivity and what “going gluten free” actually means. Read more

CAMH: With nurses every step of the way

Nursing Blog

By Christine Butler, Nurse Educator, Professional Practice Office

As I was reflecting about what to write in this blog I was thinking about my nursing career. The theme of Nursing week 2015 is Nurses: With you every step of the way. I began to think about my journey in nursing, and how CAMH has been with me throughout my nursing career. Read more

Positive Mental Health


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

What is positive mental health and why should we focus on it? According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental health is more than the absence of a mental health condition or illness; it is a positive sense of well-being, or the capacity to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. Read more

Changing the Face of Boys and Men’s Mental Health in First Nations Communities


By Dr. Julie George, a member of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation (KSPFN), Project Scientist in CAMH’s Social and Epidemiological Research Department and the Mental Health, Addiction and Violence Support Program Manager at the Health Services Department in her home community.

As a member of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation and as a service provider, I am witness to the mental health challenges that boys and men face.

As a researcher, I am also part of an innovative new project to address these challenges, a project that is part of a paradigm shift in Aboriginal research and program development. This new approach directly involves Aboriginal people in defining problems, conducting research, and facilitating solutions. Read more

Creating a Positive Environment Through Art


Work in progress…

By Paul Byron, artist, art therapist and Creative Arts Professional Volunteer at CAMH

CAMH’s Forensic Unit was an intriguing and potentially challenging assignment. Unlike other wards, forensic clients are involved at various levels in court-ordered processes and are involuntarily detained. The ambient mood has often reflected an awareness of this, and it is within this context that we began to flesh out a basis for the creation of a community mural. Read more

Mental Illness and ‘Community’: Oft used, seldom defined, and poorly understood

Community-MI2By Dr. Sean Kidd, Head of the Psychology Service of CAMH’s Schizophrenia Services and Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry

The term “community” is a central concept in mental health reform and recovery conversations. These ideas are repeatedly referenced in documents such as the World Health Organization Mental Health Action Plan and the Canadian Mental Health Strategy. Clinicians routinely reference clients “getting back into the community”, and people affected by mental illness will often discuss being involved in a range of communities as key to the process of recovery. Read more

Changing attitudes towards mental illness


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

I have often heard from my patients that being diagnosed with depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder means “I am broken,” or that “others will think that I am weak and cannot function or do my job.” These beliefs are incorrect and harmful to one’s mental health. How do we change attitudes related to mental illness so people can feel more comfortable coming forward and saying they need help? Read more

Traditional healers using apps to treat psychosis

SnapshotofBlogBy Sireesha Bobbili, Special Advisor/Project Coordinator, Office of Transformative Global Health, Social & Epidemiological Research, CAMH
Infographic by Erin Lee, Communications Intern, Office of Transformative Global Health, CAMH

Here’s a recap of our project:

The Office of Transformative Global Health at CAMH is piloting a project in rural Tanzania. It targets traditional healers who treat psychosis, a condition that affects approximately 3.9% of the population.

Cultural beliefs and accessibility to services are two reasons why Tanzanians go to traditional healers for their health care needs. However, without proper attention to biological symptoms, a condition like psychosis can worsen and reach chronic stages leading to severe long-term disability. Read more

Taking Back “Experimentation”

PSSP Innovation

Northwest Toronto Service Collaborative’s Design Jam

By Josina Vink

It’s time to reclaim experimentation to enable people-powered innovation in mental health.

Mental health systems in Canada have a dark history with experimentation. In the 20th century, we tested some horrific therapies on people with “mental disorders” including hydrotherapy, insulin coma, and the medical surgery of lobotomy.  Because of the legacy of these tests and studies, there is some resistance to experimentation in the context of mental health today. Read more

Thinking about Drinking


By Jamie Lynn Page, National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC) member

You’re an adult now. You’ve graduated high school and are entering college or university, you’re at (or close to) the legal age in your province, and you may be living in a dorm with roommates! Sounds great, right? This can indeed be one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life. However, it can also be one of the most stressful- and with stress often comes a desire to cope through substance use. One of the ways these are manifested most commonly for Canadian post-secondary students is through alcohol. During Alcohol Awareness Month 2015, we want to talk about it. Read more

What Colour is Stigma?


By Sireesha Bobbili, Special Advisor/Project Coordinator, Office of Transformative Global Health, Social & Epidemiological Research, CAMH

What colours come to your mind when you think of stigma?

Or what images come to mind when you think of acceptance?

Do certain behaviours have a colour associated with them?

Over the course of a ten-week long workshop series at Unison Health and Community Services (UnisonHCS), primary healthcare providers and individuals with lived-experiences of mental illness and substance use issues (consumer/survivors) collaborated to answer these types of questions, to explore stigma, discrimination and recovery in the primary health care setting. Read more

Beyond Stigma


Ashley Smith, MSW, and Craig Currah present to a group of students

By Craig Currah, Recreationist, Partial Hospital Program

A few weeks ago, CAMH received a concerned inquiry about a new program with a potentially stigmatizing name, which we were offering at the hospital. At first, I thought nothing of it – until I realized that this “new” program was actually one that I have been helping to facilitate! So before any further misunderstanding, let me explain the name and the program in a bit more detail. After all, its purpose is to dispel any myths by talking and sharing. Read more

Promoting Collaborative Mental Health Online


By Michael-Jane Levitan, Special Advisor, Office of Transformative Global Health

Collaborative mental health seems self-explanatory. It suggests that work surrounding mental health be a collective effort with varied perspectives and diverse skill sets to improve the quality of care for clients. While this is very true, it’s often easier said than done. Read more

It’s About Time Canada Stood Up for Homeless LGBT Youth


By Alex Abramovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, Social & Epidemiological Research Department
Originally published in Huffington Post

On March 11, 2015, Toronto City Council finally approved funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and 2-spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth transitional housing. The YMCA’s Sprott House in Toronto will operate Canada’s first LGBTQ2S transitional housing program. I am honoured to be among a group of community organizers and advocates working closely in partnership with the YMCA on the development of this historic program.

For those of you who still need to be convinced that we need such programs, or for those of you who may not necessarily understand the severity of the problem, let me explain… Read more

Images From the Field: Spiritual leaders on mental health in Haiti

Hait-blog-headerBy Michael-Jane Levitan, Special Advisor, Office of Transformative Global Health

Dèyè mon gen mon
Behind the mountains, there are mountains

This popular Haitian proverb reminds us that there is more than what meets the eye. This is crucial for the work we are doing with spiritual leaders in Haiti; the main providers of mental health support. Exploring language, idioms, values, beliefs, and symbols is hugely important to better grasp cultural nuances and to appreciate the whole picture; mountains beyond mountains. Read more

The Role of Dietitians at CAMH


By Christina Zavaglia, Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator, Complex Mental Illness Program

What’s the difference between a “dietitian” and a “nutritionist?”

That is one of the most common questions we dietitians get asked! And since this month is Nutrition Month, I wanted to help answer the question on who we are and what we do – especially at a large mental health hospital like CAMH.

Dietitians are highly skilled regulated health professionals that are knowledgeable about nutrition, food, and healthy eating. We have received education in science, management, population health, and human development. Dietitians work in a variety of areas including, hospitals, community health centres, research, and food corporations. Read more

Five Years at CAMH: Reflections


By Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO at CAMH

I had the honour of speaking at the CAMH Service Awards Reception last week, celebrating staff members who have served at CAMH for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. Over 3,465 years of service were recognized this year! During these events, it’s been my habit to mingle amongst the guests and ask a specific question: “What has kept you at CAMH for all this time?”

This year was different. I was proud to receive my five-year service pin, giving me a chance to reflect on the question I had asked so many others. It seemed only fair to share my own thoughts and feelings on why working with the dedicated staff at CAMH is so amazing. Those of us who work at CAMH come for many different reasons, but the reasons we stay are the same – our patients, our team and our cause.  Read more

Social Work at CAMH: Three perspectives


Social work plays an important role in the interdisciplinary treatment that is offered at CAMH. On Social Work Day, we spoke with three social workers who shared their reflections as integral team members responsible for the healing and recovery of our clients. Read more

Selling Alcohol in Grocery Stores: Hidden Risks and Alternative Options

Beer_at_grocery_store By Dr. Norman Giesbrecht, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Public Health and Regulatory Policy Section

In the last few days we have heard about plans to permit the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores in Ontario. For the most part, media reports have made no reference to potential health and safety risks associated with the proposed changes. You would have thought that the reporters were talking about changing the distribution of milk or orange juice in Ontario. What about the possible increase in alcohol-related incidents or negative impact on vulnerable populations – is that not relevant to the discussion? Read more

Eating 9 to 5: Challenges in the Workplace

Nutrition Month blog

March is Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Eating 9 to 5!” The campaign focuses on eating well at work, and according to a recent study, 45 per cent of individuals say healthy eating is challenging in the workplace. Proper nutrition at work is key because it can help improve concentration, productivity, and vitality. And there’s no doubt that proper nutrition goes hand-in-hand with both physical and mental health.

Here are some tips provided by CAMH’s dieticians on how to deal with challenges of eating well in the workplace. Read more

A Primer to Workplace Addiction Issues


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

My previous primer blog addressed the relationship between work and mental illness. In a similar way, I wanted to tackle the topic of substance use, and how individuals are negatively affected by it in the workplace. Read more

What is “Violence”?

Hands-overlap-1 By Jennifer Chambers, Empowerment Council Coordinator

CAMH has been in the news lately, getting a lot of attention on the subject of staff safety. Nobody wants violence of any kind happening here. But an interesting feature of “violence” is that those with social power tend to define it. For instance, why aren’t conditions of extreme poverty, causing hunger and homelessness discussed as “violence”? Unions, quite correctly, speak out on behalf of their members’ well-being. CAMH, as an organization, addresses safety through policy and creating an environment for practice. But what is violence in the experience of clients of CAMH? The issue of violence at CAMH from a client perspective is about an inclusive understanding of everyone’s right to be done no harm, which includes respect for people’s rights and liberties.  Read more

Changing Attitudes Since Tobacco Free Policy Launch

Lilian Riad-Allen 600x400

By Lilian Riad-Allen, Project Manager, Tobacco Free Initiative

In my role leading the charge to go tobacco free, I am frequently asking people to share their tobacco free stories – for some this story is celebratory, for some this story is reflective and for others, this story can be nostalgic.

I was recently asked to share my own tobacco free story, and it dawned on me that I, too, had been on that transformational journey. As an undergraduate student, I completed a co-op placement at an Alzheimer’s day treatment program. As part of my role in that program, I was responsible for taking out one of the clients for a cigarette after meals. I recall that on some particularly cold days she would ask me “why are we going outside?” After raising this to my supervisors, they responded by telling me that if we failed to take her outside, she would be in withdrawal and would be difficult to manage. Read more

Standing Together in Pink


By Olivia Heffernan, NYAC Co-Facilitator, and Maree Rodriguez, NYAC member

The idea for Pink Shirt Day started when a student came to school wearing a pink shirt and was made fun of for wearing it. Two students in the school heard about this incident and decided to do something about it. They went to their local discount store and bought fifty pink shirts and asked other students to wear pink in support of the student who was bullied. NYAC’s Olivia and Maree share their experiences with bullying, to raise awareness about this ongoing issue and important awareness day. Read more

Never Goin’ Back

CZ 2012By Catherine Zahn, President and CEO, CAMH

Earlier this week, the New York Times published an op-ed commenting on an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA). In the AMA article, three ethicists argued that the movement to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill has been a failure. The op-ed author reiterated the fact that deinstitutionalization has failed those who suffer acute mental illness – and that would be true. However, I was disappointed to hear her go on to say that rather than recalibrate supports for our patients in the community, we should go back to the olden days. Read more

The Maple Leafs Shoot… And Score with Mental Health Awareness


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Mental health advocacy initiatives are important in spreading awareness so that people feel more comfortable talking about mental illness. It’s important for people to be able to come out and admitting they have a mental health issue, so they can reach out to attain appropriate help and resources.

Earlier this week, I was fortunate to be involved in one such initiative – the NHL’s Hockey Talks campaign. I was invited by the Toronto Maple Leafs to speak about mental health, stigma, stress, and awareness at the Air Canada Centre during the TML Talk segment in the morning. While I’ve done media interviews before, my experience doing this media interview today has been a powerful one, particularly to help raise awareness and stop the stigma around mental illness within a demographic who may not be aware of its prevalence in society or who may feel uncomfortable raising the issue. Read more

Mental Health and the Family


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Dealing with mental illness is difficult for the individual diagnosed with a disorder. However, it can also be tough for those around the individual such as friends, and particularly, family members. While it’s absolutely important for the individual to be focused on their recovery, we often don’t think about the impact it can also have on family members. Read more

The Problem with Perfectionism


On February 5th, as a part of the kickoff to Psychology month at CAMH, one of Canada’s most prominent Psychologists Dr. Martin Antony presented at Grand Rounds to a packed room at Queen Street and across CAMH as people tuned in online. Dr. Antony is Chair of the Department of Psychology at Ryerson and is internationally recognized for his work in developing interventions for a range of mental health concerns.

At Grand Rounds Dr. Antony spoke about perfectionism – a trait that is in some contexts considered an asset but can also seriously compromise mental health and quality of life. Here, he and his graduate student, Hanna McCabe-Bennet blog about perfectionism – its nature and the pitfalls and strategies to address it.

Read more

From Surviving to Advising

bench-talkingDr. Sacha Agrawal and Pat Capponi, co-leaders of the Patient as Teacher initiative, discuss the positive impact of their program, which pairs fourth year psychiatry residents with people with lived-experience, in order to give a better understanding of the lives and needs of the people they will be helping. Read more

Saying What Needs To Be Said: How to support a loved one struggling with an eating disorder


By Jessica Bodach, NYAC Member

Watching a loved one struggle with an eating disorder can make a person feel frightened, frustrated, and ultimately useless. It can be hard to even approach the topic of their disorder without fearing that you may make them feel angry and defensive. Unfortunately, when we use avoidance to spare ourselves from having a difficult conversation, we are unintentionally allowing the disorder to continue to damage our loved one’s mind and body. Read more

Shedding a light on psychology


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

As a psychologist, I sometimes wonder what people think about my profession. A common question I often hear when I meet people for the first time is, “So does that mean you are psychoanalyzing me?”. With February being Psychology Month, I thought this might be a great time to shed a bit of light about psychologists, who we are, and what we do. Read more

Let’s talk about eating disorders


By Christal Huang, NYAC member

Fact: males and females are affected by body image and eating disorders.

Fact: children, adolescents, and adults are affected by body image and eating disorders.

Fact: individuals from all ethnicities, religions, and social statuses are affected by body image and eating disorders.

The fact is that body image and eating disorders know no bounds. Regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, religion, or social status, eating disorders can affect us negatively. Read more

Ending Homelessness in Ontario: Addressing the Mental Health and Functional Needs of the Most Vulnerable Amongst Us

HomelessnessBy Dr. Sylvain Roy, Neuropsychologist and the Lead Clinician at the CAMH’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation Assessment Service.

Today is #BellLetsTalk – a day where thousands of Canadians speak up in support of mental health and come together to address the issues associated with stigma. It’s a day when, as a society, we say no one should feel guilty or shameful when asking for help. It’s a day to imagine an Ontario in which mental healthcare is readily available to everyone when needed. We are not there yet. We are still living in a reality in which the most vulnerable amongst us, arguably the homeless, are not able to access timely mental health services, sometimes with tragic consequences. Read more

Redefining Stigma in the workplace

Workplace-stigmaBy Dr. Carolyn Dewa, Head of the Centre for Research on Employment and Workplace Health and Senior Scientist/Health Economist at CAMH

Chances are if you ask a group of people to list the challenges that someone experiencing a mental illness faces, stigma would be somewhere near the top. But, what is stigma exactly? Webster’s dictionary defines stigma as, “a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.” Is stigma just a set of negative beliefs? The dictionary definition is somewhat narrow. Researchers from the UK assert that stigma is more than beliefs. In fact, stigma encompasses breakdowns in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Or, in everyday terms, it is ignorance, prejudice, and discrimination. Read more

This Isn’t the End


By Byron Clarke, former CAMH client & Elizabeth’s son

I had it all planned out. It was going to be a surprise; well not entirely. She had accidently seen the ring come in, so she knew the proposal was coming but she didn’t know when, where or how. Read more

A Mother’s Story

A mother's storyBy Elizabeth Scott, a Toronto-based writer and editor

What does one do when the child they love dearly doesn’t seem to understand that you care for them, and wish to help them in any way that you can? It’s an impossible situation to be in – frustrating, disheartening, and one in which you feel crushed.

That’s exactly where I found myself in February 2003. Read more

Continuing the Conversation


It’s sometimes hard to believe how far our society has come in its advocacy of mental illness. Read more

A Primer on Workplace Mental Health

Workplace MH

By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

The relationship between stress and mental illness is complex, but stress can certainly exacerbate mental illness for some people. Individuals who suffer from mental illness may, at times, hide away from work – using physical illness as an excuse. Others will go to work sporadically but won’t engage with colleagues or supervisors, or do so sparingly. On any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness. Read more

Community Ambassadors at CAMH


By Sandra Luccisano, Community Ambassador

As we celebrate National Non-Smoking Week and the positive impact our Tobacco-Free policy has had on CAMH, I thought it might be an opportune time to talk about the Community Ambassadors, and our role at CAMH. Read more

A closer look at violence in the lives of people with mental health issues.

Black-eye2By Lucy Costa, Empowerment Systemic Advocate at the Empowerment Council

The Empowerment Council, in partnership with the Psychiatric Disabilities Anti-Violence Coalition(PDAC), recently applied for and was awarded the Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) grant to explore the issue of violence in the lives of people with mental health issues. Read more

The Faces of Geriatric Mental Health: A Q&A with Dr. Angela Golas

SONY DSCWith thanks to Dr. Angela Golas, PGY5 Resident, Clinician Scientist Stream, Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto

For Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we caught up with Dr. Angela Golas, a U of T psychiatry resident at CAMH, to get some insight into her work in geriatric mental health. Read more

New Year, New You?

New Year New YouBy Sandra Luccisano, Community Ambassador at CAMH

In my position as a Community Ambassador at CAMH, I spend a lot of time dealing with cigarettes (CAMH is tobacco-free).  Quitting smoking is probably one of the biggest New Year’s resolutions people make. I made that resolution every year that I remained a smoker. I eventually did quit – but it was in May, not January. And it was because I just couldn’t financially afford to continue smoking – and not as a result of my resolution.

So I started to think about whether resolutions work. Most of us are doomed to fail our resolutions. A 2007 study from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed an 88% failure rate. Reflecting upon my own dismal rate of resolution success, I would agree with such a high statistic. My most successful resolution was the year I resolved to stop making resolutions! Read more

‘Community’ Reconsidered

Inclusive Spaces Blog 2

By: Dr. Sean Kidd, Head of the Psychology Service of CAMH’s Schizophrenia Services and Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry

Sean-Kidd-Blue-shirt-croppedI live in a neighbourhood that takes a while to describe. It’s Parkdale, in the West end of the city, around Queen Street between about Dufferin and Roncesvalles. It’s pretty diverse as neighbourhoods go –  both the spaces and the people within it. In a single block you could easily see hipsters on fixed gear bikes, upwardly mobile couples with thousand dollar strollers, people who are living in poverty, and a wide range of ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations, and subcultures, all passing a sequence of pawn shops, social services, religious organizations, and places where you can get small, very expensive dabs of moose tartar.

Many people in Toronto live in places like this – places that can get you thinking about spaces – who is going where, who is gaining space and who is losing space. All of this is happening amidst a solid stream of conversation about community – having it, participating in it, building it, and finding it. There is a particularly large volume of community commentary as it relates to people who are marginalized in the city – who with varying degrees of force can be denied access to community and its spaces and resources.  Read more

NYAC Holiday Survival Tips

NYAC Holiday TipsMembers of CAMH’s National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC) realized that articles that give helpful holiday tips are often directed toward an older audience – but holidays can be stressful for young people too! Read below for some stories and tips for young people, written by young people. Read more

LEARNing the real meaning of the holidays

LEARN blog header

Arthur and Mohammed, clients at LEARN, blog about the importance of getting together to celebrate the season.

Every year, CAMH’s LEARN program invites staff, volunteers, clients and family to celebrate the holidays with a festive party. Singing, dancing, games and plenty of food and presents provided by CAMH Foundation’s Gifts of Light program help to kick off the season and make it a little brighter. Here’s what two of our clients, Arthur and Mohammed, had to say about their holiday experience at CAMH: Read more

Workplace Safety at CAMH

By Rani Srivastava, Chief, Nursing & Professional Practice

Following a news release issued by ONA and OPSEU, the Toronto Star published an article on December 17 about an incident that occurred in January 2014. A CAMH Nurse was injured by a patient, and another nurse who came to assist her was injured. This serious incident had an impact on all of us at CAMH.

CAMH is required to notify the Ministry of Labor when such events occur, and we did so. The Ministry investigated thoroughly but has not yet issued a report. Toronto Police investigated and CAMH conducted an internal review with report to our Board of Trustees.

At CAMH, we specialize in treating patients with complex and serious forms of mental illness, including those with behavioral, cognitive and developmental disorders. Our healthcare professionals are skilled in practice protocols and procedures that address the management of agitated/aggressive behavior. We have a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Program in place that includes mandatory training, tools, policies and procedures developed in partnership with our unions as well as ONA and OPSEU central. Read more

How good is the quality of online tobacco dependence treatment courses?


By Dr. Stephen Kish, Senior Scientist and Head of the Human Brain Laboratory in the Research Imaging Centre

Addiction to tobacco (presently a legal substance for adults in Canada) is a leading cause of death worldwide — but it is a challenge to deliver effective smoking cessation services at a time of scarce health care dollars.  Many who wish to quit will first contact a health care professional such as a family doctor, nurse or pharmacist for a plan, but few are actually trained in treating tobacco addiction. Read more


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