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Influencing Public Policy Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Influencing public policy

CAMH’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2020:, re-affirms our commitment to advocating for public policies that are responsive to the needs of people with mental illness and addictions. As one of the six pillars of this plan, CAMH is committed to “Driving Social Change” by playing a leading role in transforming society’s understanding of mental illness and addiction and building a better mental health care system. CAMH aims to be a champion for health equity, social justice and inclusion for those with mental illness and addiction. To help achieve these goals, CAMH communicates evidence-based policy advice to stakeholders and policymakers.

What's new:


August 2016:

Legalizing cannabis: CAMH submission to the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation

This submission is a CAMH response to the Task Force's consultation on key aspects of cannabis legalization and regulation. Its main focus is how cannabis should be bought and sold in a legal, regulated system. (Note: Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH's CEO, is a member of the Task Force.) 

Medical transportation: Letter to the Minister of Community and Social Services

In this letter, Lori Spadorcia, CAMH’s Vice President of Communications and Partnerships, recommends that transportation costs to all necessary mental health treatment be covered by social assistance.

June 2016:

Heroin-assisted treatment: CAMH submission to Health Canada

This submission welcomes Health Canada’s proposal to return the regulatory oversight of diacetylmorphine (heroin) to the Narcotic Control Regulations so that heroin-assisted treatment can be provided in evidence-supported contexts.

May 2016:

Strategy for a Safer Ontario: Response from CAMH and the Empowerment Council

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is developing a Strategy for a Safer Ontario which will be the province’s new community-based policing strategy. Here is CAMH and the Empowerment Council’s submission with recommendations on how to improve police interactions with people in crisis.

Medical assistance in dying: CAMH submission to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Bill C-14 proposes to make Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) available to capable, adult Canadians who are suffering from a grievous and irremediable medical condition. While people with mental illness as a sole medical condition will not be able to access MAID under this law, people with mental illness who also suffer from a serious or incurable physical medical condition may be eligible. In this presentation to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Dr. Tarek Rajji outlines CAMH’s response to Bill C-14.

April 2016:

Fentanyl: Canada’s homemade drug crisis
In this op-ed for the Globe and Mail, Dr. Benedikt Fischer connects the current fentanyl crisis with the continuing overprescription of opioids.

Supervised Injection Services in Toronto: Deputation to the Toronto Board of Health
In this deputation, Dr. Jürgen Rehm offers CAMH’s support for the development of three Supervised Injection Services in Toronto. Supervised Injection Services are an important public health approach that can reduce individual and societal harms associated with injection drug use.


March 2016:

Basic Income Guarantee: Letter to the Premier
The Ontario Mental Health & Addictions Alliance is a coalition of organizations from across the province and across the continuum of care. In this letter, the Alliance commends Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for her government's recent commitment to launching a Basic Income pilot project.

Mental Health and Primary Care Policy Framework
People with mental health problems and illnesses have difficulty accessing high quality primary care and this can result in poor health outcomes. CAMH’s Mental Health and Primary Care Policy Framework gives a broad overview of the factors that contribute to primary care access in Ontario and provides a model for the development and implementation of primary care policies that most effectively address the needs of people with mental health problems and illnesses. The Framework was developed in consultation with internal and external experts in the field.

Please note that this Framework contains slight modifications to the version released in January 2016.




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