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Diversity: Policy Framework Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Diversity: Complete CAMH policy


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is committed to being a leader in delivering mental health and addiction services in ways that are effective, fair, inclusive, respectful and culturally competent.

CAMH is committed to having a workplace that respects diversity as reflected in the various designated groups*. This respect must be demonstrated by our leadership, our client services, our relationship with all stakeholders and our employment practices.

This policy is a framework to help us promote respect, equity and sensitivity competency in all aspects of our work. This policy is consistent with the Vision, Mission, Core values and Statement of Desired Culture of CAMH.

In keeping with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code, CAMH recognizes that diversity is a basic and important characteristic of Canadian society. All of our stakeholders (clients, consumers/survivors, staff, community partners, family members, students and volunteers) share unique, diverse characteristics, to be valued and respected.

We recognize that discrimination based on designated group identity has a direct impact on the health and well being of members of those groups.

We believe that a truly diverse organization benefits all stakeholders. Benefits include meaningful employment, excellent clinical care, increased human resources potential, better partnerships, strong accountability, more resources and an enhanced reputation locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.


The core challenge to achieve our vision for CAMH designated groups is: how do we build a diversity framework and practice that addresses not only issues of access and inclusion but also issues of power and privilege? Imbalances and unfair exclusion often reinforce existing power and privilege, and vice-versa.

CAMH must create an organizational culture that fosters critical self-reflection, where we are all accountable for learning about and appreciating differences among our employees, clients and partners. Diversity awareness and capacity building is an ongoing, evolving, learning process for all CAMH stakeholders.


* "CAMH designated groups" for the purposes of this policy refers to members of our community who have been marginalized by one or more of the following identities: gender, race, age, physical or mental ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion/faith, family status, language ability, literacy, socio-economic status, immigration/refugee status and country of origin.

This policy framework recognizes Aboriginal communities, as having distinct and special histories, needs and legal rights and constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights. CAMH has an organizational commitment and desire to collaborate with Aboriginal communities in a manner that demonstrates the principles of respect, inclusion, accountability and equity.


To meet its legal, professional, social and moral/ethical obligations towards diversity, CAMH will:

1. Provide leadership and accountability in the area of diversity.

2. Recognize and support diversity as a critical component of client-centred care.

3. Build equitable, meaningful and responsive relationships with all our stakeholders.

4. Ensure that diversity is reflected and considered throughout all aspects and levels of the organization. This includes Human Resources policies and practices, organizational planning, budgeting, research, ethics, training, clinical work, strategic planning, site redevelopment planning, health promotion, marketing and communication.

5. Provide an environment that is supportive, accessible, welcoming, safe and free of stigma, harassment and discrimination for all our stakeholders; particularly for those stakeholders who identify as members of a CAMH designated group.


1. Provide leadership and accountability in the area of diversity.

a) Through leadership and accountability at all levels of the organization, constituency members and members of the Board of Trustees, CAMH will recognize diversity as an integral component of all aspects of its work.

b) Through active engagement of all relevant policies and procedures, CAMH will build, sustain and maintain diversity as a priority.

c) Through performance measures, all managers and staff will be accountable for valuing, supporting and implementing diversity.

d) CAMH will develop and use measurement tools, performance indicators and board and management accountability measures to fully involve diverse communities. CAMH will also institutionalize diversity accountability and activities across its local, regional, provincial and international partnerships.

e) CAMH will incorporate diversity in its organizational decision-making, priority-setting activities, visioning, strategic planning and budgeting. CAMH will actively solicit input from diverse viewpoints within CAMH and in communities we serve and seek to serve.

f) CAMH will deliver ongoing information, training and resource support to help all staff, volunteers, students, and board members develop capacity in diversity and to understand their rights and responsibilities.

g) CAMH will consistently address public policy issues that have an impact or potential impact on its diverse stakeholders.

h) CAMH will implement communications and education strategies to support stakeholders in learning about their rights and responsibilities toward diversity.

2. Recognize and support diversity as a critical component of client-centred care.

a) Consistent with our strategic commitment to client-centred care, CAMH will ensure that diversity considerations are fully integrated and measured through professional standards, research, training and development, clinical care, language/cultural interpretation, health promotion activities and community partnerships.

b) Consistent with our strategic commitment to client-centred care, CAMH will ensure that cultural competence is fully integrated as a professional obligation for clinicians.

3. Build equitable, meaningful and responsive relationships with all our diverse stakeholders.

a) CAMH will recognize and work to remove systemic barriers that limit access to its services and programs, in areas such as clinical care, information dissemination, human resources, physical space, language/cultural interpretation, stigma, discrimination and harassment, health promotion, community partnerships, research and employment practices.

b) CAMH will use staff development, communication tools, policies, plans and organizational wellness strategies to promote an environment that supports diversity. This environment will be free from stigma, prejudice, discrimination, harassment and marginalization for all stakeholders, including clients, consumer/survivors, family members, staff, students, volunteers and community partners.

c) Through various initiatives, CAMH will make every attempt to reasonably accommodate (physically and otherwise) the diverse needs of its stakeholders.

d) Research and education at CAMH will address the mental health and addiction needs of diverse communities in ways that are culturally appropriate, respectful and inclusive of those communities.

e) CAMH will anticipate and respond to the changing needs of the communities it serves and seeks to serve by consistently re-examining current approaches and, when appropriate, developing alternatives.

4. Ensure that diversity is reflected and considered throughout all aspects of the organization, at all levels.

a) Every program area of CAMH must develop specific, measurable diversity plans and activities to be reviewed annually. These shall be integrated into existing program plans.

b) Every staff member of CAMH will be held accountable through Performance Management expectations and benchmarks for his or her role in implementing these plans.

c) CAMH will develop internal and external communications, which reflect and are sensitive to diversity.

d) Through its Human Resources policies and procedures, CAMH will have a plan to promote fairness, transparency and equity in employment at all levels of the organization, provide consistent opportunities for retention, promotion and mentoring and measure staff composition through an Employee Systems Review process to be conducted every three years.

5. Provide an environment that is supportive, accessible, welcoming, safe and free of stigma, harassment and discrimination, for all CAMH stakeholders.

a) Through specific changes in polices, programming, practices and through using the Centre's Employment Related Harassment and Discrimination Policy, CAMH will promote an ongoing commitment to this kind of environment.

b) Through its communication and education campaigns, CAMH shall support and promote this kind of environment.

c) CAMH will develop and disseminate CAMH Management Philosophy. All managers (Senior Managers, managers, Supervisors, Coordinators) will be obligated to model behavior that is respectful, sensitive, professional and considerate of issues such as stigma, discrimination and harassment for staff, clients and other CAMH stakeholders. Managers will be held accountable for maintaining these standards through the Performance Management process.

Tracking and Measuring Diversity

Through various mechanisms, CAMH will develop processes to appropriately track and evaluate all diversity-related initiatives to support planning and sustain change.

Scope and Applicability

This policy covers all programs and services that make up the mandate and work of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

With respect to diversity, this policy is to be applied/interpreted in a manner consistent with all other relevant diversity-related policies and in the event of a diversity-related conflict supercedes all other relevant department policies.

Accountability for the Policy

A representative, diverse group of CAMH stakeholders shall formally review this policy every three years. In collaboration with a designated senior staff lead, the Community Relations Committee of the Board of Trustees shall provide leadership in the coordination of this broad-based review and will fully involve all board committees, other relevant CAMH committees, staff persons, volunteers, as well as external stakeholders representing the range of diverse communities.

Constituency members, members of the Board of Trustees, senior managers, all other management staff and other staff members will model behavior that is consistent with good diversity practice, as identified in the Centre's Statement of Desired Culture.

CAMH will dedicate resources and expertise to implement, sustain, monitor and assess its Diversity Action Plans, as outlined in the Diversity Report of 2000, the Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers Access Report of 2002, and as outlined elsewhere.

CAMH will be accountable to all its stakeholders for upholding the intent, spirit and purpose of this policy through board and annual reports and any appropriate forums.

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