Improved access to mental health
intervention for people within the criminal justice system is a priority issue
for CAMH. CAMH is pleased to announce we are partnering with the Ministry of Community
Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term
(MOHLTC) to enhance timely access to voluntary mental health services for
individuals whose mental illness may make them unfit to stand trial or who may
have a defence of not criminally responsible available to them.
MOHLTC is investing $3 million in a
Forensic Early Intervention Service (FEIS) that CAMH will deliver at the new
Toronto South Detention Centre when it opens later this year in Mimico. The 1,650
bed adult male remand centre will include a 26-bed unit for people with acute
mental health needs. Inmates will be
screened for mental health issues when they are admitted to custody and those
who screen positive for serious mental illness will be referred to FEIS for
triage and assessment.
CAMH President and CEO Catherine Zahn ( second from the right) is joined by Marg Welch, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) (l) , Dr. Sandy Simpson, CAMH Chief of Forensic Psychiatry, MCSCS Minister Madeleine Meilleur and Steven Small, MCSCS following the announcement of a $3 million investment in a Forensic Early Intervention Service that CAMH will deliver at the new Toronto South Detention Centre.
“Through FEIS, CAMH staff will provide
specialized forensic mental health services and supports to this vulnerable
group of individuals,” says Sarah Downey,
Executive Vice-President, Clinical Programs.
FEIS is expected to:
- improve safety as inmates with serious mental illness will
be identified sooner;
- reduce court back logs caused by delays due to concerns
about an inmate’s fitness to stand trial;
- and improve inmates’ chances of rehabilitation with a
resulting decrease in recidivism.
This service will
build on the existing role CAMH has in the assessment and treatment of people
in the forensic mental health system. Our
Complex Mental Illness Forensic Program provides care and supports to
individuals whose mental illness has led to them encountering the criminal
justice system. We care for over 30 per
cent of Ontario’s
NCR population with the goal of providing treatment and rehabilitation to
successfully reintegrate individuals back into the community. We also advocate for healthy public policy
that will enable people in the forensic system to live their best lives.
word to CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn. “CAMH strives to provide mental health services
to people when and where they need it — this new partnership speaks directly to
that and will build on the existing role CAMH has in the assessment and
treatment of people in the forensic mental health system. The need for services
and intervention among people on remand has increased over the past decade, and
CAMH is making a commitment to address this demand and provide support to this