Families: Partners in care
Families can play an important role in a person’s recovery from mental illness, including substance use disorders. Family members are often the first to see the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health problem and are instrumental in supporting their family member to seek help.
How CAMH can help
Family members can call Access CAMH’s dedicated family line ( 416 535-8501 ext. 2, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) for information about mental health, how to make or obtain a referral to CAMH, and for help navigating the system.
CAMH offers free support and education groups for families and friends of people with of mental health problems. Services can include support, counseling and educational program that can run from one to 16 weeks. For a complete list, click here.
**NEW** Office of Family Engagement
The Office of Family Engagement (OFE) recognizes and celebrates the contribution of families. Mental health affects families in many ways. We know that families can best support their loved one when they themselves are supported. We also acknowledge the need to consider the family voice in order to improve services.
The OFE has three priorities: the Family Resource Centre, the Family Advisory Committee, and improving system navigation for families at CAMH and in the larger city- and province-wide systems. For more information, click here, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416 535-8501, ext. 33202, or drop in. Our address is 100 Stokes Street , Bell Gateway Building, ground floor, room 1314, Toronto ON M6J 1H4
Family Resource Centre
When you open the door to the Family Resource Centre (FRC) you’ll find a safe and welcoming space with comfortable chairs, a child-friendly play area, and more including:
- printed educational materials on mental health that you can keep
- a lending library of recommended resources, family guides and memoirs
- information on community supports
- access to a computer, printer and phone
- trained dedicated volunteers who can answer your questions and help you get connected.
We are open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Family Advisory Committee
The Family Advisory Committee (FAC) represents the broad interests of family members with lived experience supporting a family member with mental health issues. The FAC advocates client- and family-centred care and works to enhance the client and family experience at CAMH. The FAC is a partnership between 10 family members and two CAMH staff. Family members who are interested in joining when there is an opening on the committee can contact the OFE for a recruitment package.
Navigating the mental health system is a challenge. The OFE is dedicated to learning how we can make it easier for families to find what they need. Volunteers at the FRC will help you navigate the system, and staff will welcome your input, suggestions and stories as we make it easier to get the information you need.
How can you engage with the OFE?
- Visit us, and have a look around.
- Fill out our evaluation form—how did you find us, what do you think, how can we do better—and put it in the suggestion box.
- Apply to be a FAC member.
- Sign up to be contacted for family member focus groups, surveys and events.
- Borrow a book, write a brief review, or just share your star rating in the back of the book for other family members to find.
- Complete the Ontario Perception of Care Tool for Mental Health and Addictions as a family member, and let your voice be heard across the province.
- Just tell us what you need.
Events of interest to families
CAMH’s Calendar of Events includes events of special interest to families and friends.
Online mental health and addiction information
Families can download or order a range of general information related to mental health, treatment options and recovery: