MESSAGE FROM THE
PRESIDENT AND CHAIR
It’s a singular moment in time.
More people than ever recognize the need for a system of care for people with
mental illness and addictions. There is unprecedented public discourse about
the issues, and as a participant in a broad range of media-hosted discussions,
CAMH feels the power of that public response.
We were able to build on the momentum generated by the historic Select
Committee report, in which three provincial parties endorsed a blueprint for a
10-year Ontario Strategy for mental health and addictions. The Minister’s Own
Advisory Group on Mental Health and Addictions soon followed suit, adding
to the energy. On the national level, the Mental Health Commission of Canada
is advancing a national strategy, and closer to home, our Local Health
Integration Networks (LHINs) have prioritized the need to create a continuum of care for people with mental health problems and addictions.
People with lived experience are speaking out openly. When musician Steven
Page (Barenaked Ladies) discussed his life with depression on CBC Radio’s The
Current, listener response was overwhelming—so much so that the network
immediately added a special mental health phone-in edition and invited
CAMH’s Dr. David Goldbloom to co-host. Olympian Clara Hughes, author
Margaret Trudeau and hockey player Theo Fleury joined the ranks of
Canadian celebrities who now speak publicly about their mental illness.
Science, discovery and innovation is creating hope for the future of mental
health and addictions. This year alone, CAMH researchers identified a brain
protein peptide that is a new target for treating depression; a gene that
contributes to autism; and a new technique to identify healthy individuals at
risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Our scientists showed that mindfulness
meditation is just as effective as medication in preventing the relapse of
depression. Today, CAMH scientists are investigating promising new
treatments ranging from deep brain stimulation to nutritional supplements.
Just as CAMH welcomes the public’s increasing interest in our issues, we also welcome greater public scrutiny of our hospital’s clinical and financial
performance under Ontario’s new Excellent Care for All Act and Broader Public
Sector Accountability Act. Continuous improvement is a core tenet at CAMH;
I invite you to visit our web page “Measuring Our Performance: Accountability
to Our Clients and Families” at www.camh.net to see the evidence.
We’re proud of the work we do at CAMH. This year our specialized clinical
teams cared for more than 25,000 individuals across the life spectrum and with
all manner of need for our programs. As a hospital, we focus on the health of
the patients in our care today, and as an academic health science centre, we are
responsible for securing the health of tomorrow’s patients. We will do this by
helping to create a new generation of health care workers, and by contributing
to the discoveries that will identify the causes of and cures for mental illness