Your legal rights
Your experience at CAMH is influenced by several provincial acts including:
- the Public Hospitals Act, 1990
- the Ontario Mental Health Act, 1990, which outlines the legal rights of patients who are admitted to a psychiatric facility and the responsibilities of many of the individuals involved in their treatment
- the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, which governs treatment in Ontario and the system of substitute decision making for individuals who are incapable of making their own treatment decisions.
CAMH physicians and staff members make every effort to inform clients/patients about their clinical condition and their treatment plan. This is to make sure CAMH clients/patients, or their substitute decision makers, can participate fully in treatment decisions, and to protect their rights and interests.
CAMH Bill of Client Rights
The CAMH Bill of Client Rights promotes the dignity and worth of all the people who use our services. It sets out client rights, including the right to be treated with respect, to receive quality services that comply with standards and to complain. You can obtain a copy of the CAMH Bill of Client Rights from the CAMH Client Relations Office at 416 535-8501 ext. 32028 or from our website at the link we have provided above.
CAMH Client Relations Office
The Client Relations Officer is committed to responding to all forms of feedback received from clients/patients and their family members, including complaints, inquiries, suggestions and compliments regarding CAMH programs and services.
Information you provide to the Client Relations Office will not be added to your health record.
Suggestions, Compliments or Concerns? To reach
the Client Relations Office, please call 416 535-8501 ext. 32027 or
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries can also
be directed to Ms. Ann Pottinger, Director of Quality Patient Safety &
The Empowerment Council represents the voice of clients/patients at CAMH. The Council:
- advocates on issues relating to the mental health and addiction systems
- educates clients on choices, self-advocacy, leadership and political awareness
- gives clients access to information
- educates mental health and addiction workers and other members of the community.
To learn more about what the Empowerment Council does and how you can join, click on the link we have provided above or call the Empowerment Council co-ordinator at (416) 535-8501 ext. 34022.
Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office
The Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (PPAO) is a program of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that protects and promotes the rights and entitlements of Ontarians with mental illness through advocacy, rights advice and education. The PPAO field office at CAMH is staffed by two patient advocates and a rights advisor.
The patient advocates can advocate for inpatients regarding their legal rights and entitlements, care, treatment or quality of life as a patient at CAMH.
The rights adviser meets with inpatients whenever their legal status is changed in one of the nine mandatory rights advice situations. The rights adviser will explain what the change means and what legal options are available to challenge this change.
You may contact the PPAO office at CAMH by calling 416 535-8501 ext. 33099 or by visiting the website at www.ppao.gov.on.ca.
Privacy and confidentiality
CAMH is committed to protecting your privacy.
While you are receiving treatment, the members of your treatment team will ask you questions about your own health and the health of people in your family. This information is documented in your health record. We need your health information to make sure we can give you the best possible care.
While at CAMH, you may be referred to more than one service for treatment. Each CAMH physician and treatment team involved in your care at CAMH will also need to review and document your treatment in your health record. During your treatment at CAMH, we may need to share your personal health information with other doctors, hospitals or organizations that are helping with your care. This is called sharing your health information within your “circle of care.”
In most cases, before we use or share your personal health information we will ask for your permission (your consent). You can decide when you want us to share your personal health information with others and how you want us to use your information. Your consent can be either verbal or written. You can refuse or take away your consent.
In special cases, the law states that we can or must share information with others, even if we don’t have your consent. For example, information may be disclosed without your consent to public health units, children’s aid societies, other health care providers (in an emergency), the Ministry of Transportation, the police and the courts. If you would like more information about consent, please visit the following link on our website: CAMH Privacy Notice.
Protecting your health information
Accessing your health record
You have the right to see and have a copy of your health information, with some limits. There may be a fee if you would like a copy of your health record. You also have the right to ask us to correct your health information if it is wrong or incomplete. To access your health information, contact CAMH's Health Records Department, Release of Information Office at 416 535-8501 ext. 32318 or 36438.