CAMH recognizes and champions families’ unique and important contributions in supporting their loved ones through their mental health and addiction recovery journeys.
We also recognize that families experience many challenges within the mental health and addictions system, and are best able to support their loved ones when they themselves are supported. CAMH supports families in a number of ways, including system navigation assistance, family-facing educational resources, and family-specific programming, offered by our direct care teams, the Family Resource Centre, the RBC Patient and Family Learning Space, and other programs.
For a family-specific introduction to CAMH, please see Supporting Family Partners: Answering your questions about supporting your loved one at CAMH. This guide was co-created by the Family Advisory Committee, and explores frequently asked questions related to family supports, navigating CAMH, and supporting a loved one in inpatient and outpatient care settings.
If you are planning to visit CAMH, you can find contact information, directions and accessibility for each of our three main sites here.
How do we define "family" at CAMH?
At CAMH, “family” can include any person or group of people that a person identifies as belonging to their family or significant circle of support. Our definition of family is as inclusive and broad as the range of people – relatives, partners, friends, co-workers and others – who come forward in times of need.
Family Resource Centre
The Family Resource Centre (FRC) supports families in navigating the mental health and addictions system, shares information about CAMH and community programming, and offers family-facing educational materials. Located within the RBC Patient & Family Learning Space, the FRC offers a safe, welcoming space, with a child-friendly play area, and access to computers and phone.
The FRC is located at 1025 Queen Street West in the McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building at CAMH’s Queen Street site. The Family Resource Centre is located in the RBC Patient & Family Learning Space on the ground floor. You can also contact the FRC via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone (416 535-8501 ext. 33202). Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
RBC Patient and Family Learning Space
The RBC Patient and Family Learning Space (PFLS) is an interactive hub for patients, families and the community to access reliable information about mental health, substance use and recovery. The PFLS offers services in-person and virtually, along with resources in print, web and app formats. Through the PFLS you can attend interactive workshops and webinars, and discover a variety of community-based services that can support you and the people you care for in their experience of mental health, substance use and addiction challenges, along with their treatment and recovery.
With one phone call, Access CAMH (416 535-8501, Option 2) can provide families with:
- General information about CAMH services
- Information regarding eligibility requirements and instructions on how to make a referral to CAMH, including self-referrals
- Family members and friends may contact Access CAMH if they are concerned about a loved one’s mental health and/or substance use
Patient and Family Engagement
CAMH has a longstanding commitment to patient and family empowerment. Patient and family partners collaborate with CAMH staff to support higher quality, safer and more efficient healthcare, improved patient outcomes, and greater patient, family, staff and physician satisfaction. They do this by sharing their ideas, experiences, and insights as members of working groups, steering committees, and focus groups across CAMH.
To support this work, CAMH has developed and implemented a Patient and Family Engagement Roadmap, which is based on the principles of Patient- and Family-Centered Care. The Roadmap details specific actions that guide us toward a future where patients and families are included in all aspects of our organizational, clinical, research and education initiatives—helping us to achieve the highest quality care.
To learn more about our philosophy and approach to patient and family engagement, and to see some examples of how patient and family engagement is shaping service development and quality improvement at CAMH, see the Patient and Family Engagement at CAMH booklet.
Family Advisory Committee
CAMH’s Family Advisory Committee (FAC) represents the broad interests of families who support loved ones in their mental health and/or addiction recoveries. The FAC advocates for patient- and family-centred care and works to enhance the patient and family experience at CAMH. The FAC is a partnership between family members and CAMH staff. Family members who are interested in learning more about the committee can contact the Patient and Family Experience team at email@example.com or by calling 416 535-8501, ext. 33202.
In partnership with the Patient and Family Education and Patient and Family Experience teams, the FAC has developed Family Voice newsletters, highlighting the FAC’s work, resources, and initiatives of key importance to families:
- The Family Voice Volume 1 Issue 1
- The Family Voice Volume 1 Issue 2
- The Family Voice Volume 2 Issue 1
- The Family Voice Volume 2 Issue 2
- The Family Voice Volume 2 Issue 3
- The Family Voice Volume 3 Issue 1
- The Family Voice Volume 3 Issue 2
- The Family Voice Volume 3 Issue 3
- The Family Voice Volume 4 Issue 1
- The Family Voice Volume 4 Issue 2
For information CAMH’s Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) click here.
Patient and Family Partners Program
Patient and family engagement at CAMH means patients, family and health care professionals are actively collaborating to improve health care quality, both at direct care and hospital system levels. One of our structures for supporting patient and family engagement is the Patient and Family Partners Program (PFPP).
The PFPP welcomes and orients patients and families who are interested in sharing their ideas and experiences to help improve care for all. The PFPP matches patient and family partners with projects, based on partner interests and experiences.
Patient and family partners have the opportunity to provide direct input and to collaborate on CAMH programs, policies, services, research and other initiatives. Partner activities may include:
- Sharing ideas via surveys or focus groups
- Being a member of a project team
- Providing input and recommendations on research projects
Education for Families
CAMH is dedicated to supporting families’ affected by mental health and substance use problems by providing accessible and reliable informational resources, including free online education modules and guides.
Empowering Families Affected by Psychosis
This course is for people who have a friend or relative with psychosis. Free.
Empowering Families Affected by Substance Use Problems
This course is for people who have a friend or relative with a substance use problem. Free.
Mental Health 101s
These courses cover topics including addiction, depression, mental health and youth and mental health, and are for people who are concerned for themselves, family or friends. Courses are offered in both English and French. All courses are free.
- Supporting Family Partners: Answering your questions about supporting your loved one at CAMH
- Family Supports within CAMH & in the Community: Where to go when you’re looking for help
- When a family member chooses not to seek help
- When a Family Member Is Thinking About Suicide
- When a family member has questions about privacy and consent
- A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorder: An Information Guide for Families
- When a Parent Drinks Too Much Alcohol. . . What Kids Want to Know
- When a Parent has Experienced Psychosis. . . What Kids Want to Know
- When a Parent has Bipolar Disorder. . . What Kids Want to Know
- When a Parent is Depressed. . . What Kids Want to Know
- When a Parent Dies by Suicide. . . What Kids Want to Know