May 14, 2013 - The City of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
(CAMH) today officially launched a joint customer-service training initiative.
The partnership is the first of its kind between the City and CAMH.
The partnership was initiated by the City Clerk's Office, which has a
large number of employees who interact with the public, many on a daily basis.
As the City Clerk's Office looked to improve customer service, it became
apparent that front-line staff needed training in order to provide better
service to individuals with diminished mental capacity or mental health issues.
Dr. Ivan Silver, CAMH's Vice President of Education, speaks during the launch of the joint initiative between the City of Toronto and CAMH.
"We are serious about our commitment to customer service
excellence. In order to provide that we must provide access to services and to
government for all Toronto
residents," said Ulli Watkiss, City Clerk. "It is the mission of the
City Clerk's Office to build public trust and confidence in local government
for individuals of all abilities. I am very proud that we are providing this training
The City, unable to find a ready-made program, approached CAMH.
"It's not just a gap at the City of Toronto," said Dr. Ivan
President of Education, CAMH. "The need for customer service education
for most public and commercial organizations is very much recognized at CAMH. We
are pleased to be able to combine our expertise in public education and
clinical training into a real-world customer-service application."
The training program consists of an online tutorial and a one-day
in-person training session with professional CAMH instructors. Course content
was customized by speaking with frontline staff who interact with the public at
service counters, at committee and council meetings, and at election voting
locations to ensure simulations reflected real life situations. Several other
City divisions have expressed interest in similar training for their staff.
Sixteen training sessions will be held in 2013 and seven additional
sessions in 2014, with more than 400 City employees to participate. This training
initiative supports the City of Toronto's commitment to creating an accessible
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 its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research,
education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives
of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully
affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American
Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more
information, please visit http://www.camh.ca.
largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of
about 2.8 million people. Toronto's
government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence,
creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost
of government and building a transportation city. For information on
non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto
residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Terry Wertepny, City Clerk's Office, 416-392-8107, email@example.com
Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416-595-6015, firstname.lastname@example.org