People with mental illness and
addictions need income and employment supports to live their best lives
For Immediate Release - October 24, 2012 – (Toronto)
–Today CAMH welcomed the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario’s final report “Brighter Prospects: Transforming Social Assistance in Ontario” especially those proposals that
would improve the lives of people with mental health issues.
“Many of our clients struggle to navigate the current social
assistance program and experience challenges in finding and sustaining
employment”, said CAMH President and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn. “With 60 per cent of ODSP recipients having a
mental disorder, we know we have a significant economic and societal challenge
CAMH contributed research and clinical expertise to the
development of the report, particularly related to best practices for the
employment of people with mental health issues.
The report highlights the
importance of sustainable employment for all social assistance recipients,
including those with disabilities, while also recognizing that a stable income
is necessary for those who cannot work.
The majority of the report’s recommendations focus on
enabling employment and building a better benefit structure – key components of
recovery for those with mental illness and addictions. Dr. Zahn noted that of
the report’s recommendations, accelerating Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and
Addictions Strategy to include employment as a key outcome is crucial to moving
Other important recommendations include:
alternative forms of employment (e.g. self-employment, social purpose
collaborative employment planning between recipients and case workers;
and improving access to employment services and supports;
a standard rate for all adults (based on real costs of living), with
disability benefits, children’s benefits and extended health benefits
available outside of social assistance;
an additional $200/month in employment earnings without an impact on
For more information, view a copy of the full
Brighter Prospects Report.
Media Contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Public Affairs,
The Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's
largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the
world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health.
CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health
promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and
CAMH is fully affiliated with the
University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.