One objective of CAMH's Social and Epidemiological Research (SER) Department is to describe the extent of addiction and mental health indicators in the general population and monitor trends over time. This includes: providing and disseminating accurate and timely data regarding alcohol use, other drug use and mental health indicators among the general population and special sub-populations; and monitoring and identifying risk and protective factors for alcohol, other drug use and mental health indicators.
CAMH's population health surveys
(1) The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS)
is the longest ongoing school survey of adolescents in Canada, and the second-longest in North America. The OSDUHS began in 1977 and is conducted every two years. The survey examines trends in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, as well as physical health, mental health, gambling, and risk behaviours among students in grades 7 through 12 in publicly funded schools across Ontario.
(2) The CAMH Monitor
is the longest ongoing addiction and mental health survey among adults in Canada. This survey, first conducted in 1977, interviews about 2,000 Ontario adults by telephone every year. The CAMH Monitor tracks alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, as well as mental health and gambling problems.
Other population health surveys
Research staff members are also involved in other national population surveys. One example is the 2004 Canadian Campus Survey (CCS), which was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. The 2004 CCS surveyed over 6,000 university undergraduate students from almost 50 campuses, making this one of the largest university surveys ever conducted in Canada. In addition to CAMH researchers, the project team involved researchers from the University of Montreal, University of Alberta, and Dalhousie University.
The 2004 CCS descriptive report is available to download in English and French:
Dr. Edward Adlaf
CAMH's population health surveys are housed within the Social and Epidemiological Research (SER) Department.