Letter to the federal Minister of Health: Supervised Consumption Sites
CAMH believes that Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS) are an important part of a public health approach that can reduce the harms associated with injection drug use. In this letter to the federal Minister of Health, Dr. Catherine Zahn recommends that amendments be made to the Respect for Communities Act to mitigate barriers to the establishment of SCS in Canada.
Mental Health and Criminal Justice Policy Framework
People with mental illness are over-represented in the criminal justice system. To address and reduce this over-representation, CAMH supports a social justice approach to public policy that focuses on prevention, diversion, and treatment / rehabilitation. This framework reviews the literature on mental health and criminal justice, discusses programs and policies that can best support people with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system, and outlines principles for a comprehensive Canadian approach to mental health and criminal justice.
Letter to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services: TASER use by front-line officers
In August 2013, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services announced that local police services in Ontario could equip their front-line officers with Conducted Energy Weapons or TASERS. In this letter to the Minister, CAMH CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn responds to this announcement and recommends that police engage in a multi-faceted approach to assess and manage people in mental or emotional crisis.
Letter to the Minister of Children and Youth Services and the Minister of Community and Social Services: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy
CAMH recently had the opportunity to participate in several poverty reduction consultations organized by the Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction. During these consultations, CAMH highlighted the over-representation of people with mental illness amongst those living in poverty and made recommendations to address this situation. In this letter, CAMH CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn highlights the importance of housing and employment policies and programs in alleviating the poverty experienced by many people with mental illness.
Deputation to the Toronto Board of Health: Supervised Injection Services
On July 10, 2013, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown, recommended that the Board of Health support the development of a pilot Supervised Injection Service in Toronto. CAMH’s Dr. Jürgen Rehm provided a deputation supporting the development of a pilot service as a public health approach that is part of a comprehensive drug strategy spanning prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. The Board of Health voted 6-2 in favour of the pilot Supervised Injection Service.
At the same meeting, the Toronto Drug Strategy released a Supervised Injection Service Toolkit to provide information and resources for groups to consider when determining whether or not to develop a Supervised Injection Service in Toronto.
Letter to the Ontario Finance Minister: Alcohol in convenience stores
In this letter to Finance Minister Charles Sousa, CAMH CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) CEO Andy Murie outline their concerns about efforts to allow alcohol to be sold in convenience stores. Evidence suggests that increased alcohol availability results in increased alcohol-related harm.
Letter to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights: Bill C-54
In this letter, Dr. Sandy Simpson discusses CAMH’s concerns with Bill C-54, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act (Mental Disorder).
CAMH Alcohol Policy Framework
CAMH advocates for a model in which the sale and consumption of alcohol are regulated with public health and safety as primary concerns. This framework document reviews the evidence around alcohol-related harm, discusses best practices for the prevention of alcohol problems, and outlines principles for an Ontario approach to alcohol policy.
MORE PUBLIC POLICY DOCUMENTS FROM CAMH