TORONTO, ON. Today, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health announced the members of the newly-formed external review panel who have been tasked with examining the policies, processes and procedures for patient passes in its forensic mental health program. The panelists will compile recommendations aimed at improving CAMH practice in the context of the broader forensic psychiatry system to better ensure public and patient safety.
“CAMH is one of North America’s top mental health hospitals and a leading research centre for mental healthcare worldwide. Our clinicians care for people with serious and complex mental illnesses,” said Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “Events of the last three months have caused concern for our community. I've previously announced my intention to undertake an externally-led review of the CAMH policies and practices that guide decisions to grant community passes that are part of the recovery process for our forensic patients. Today, I'm officially launching this initiative. The review will be carried out by an international panel of experts who will offer insights and recommendations for improvement.”
The review will be chaired by Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. The panel will consist of three international clinical forensic experts, as well as a public safety specialist. Their work will also be supported by a panel member recommended by Ontario’s Minister of Health.
The external review, an initiative of CAMH, was announced on July 24th in recognition of community concerns surrounding high-profile unauthorized leave of absences of patients from CAMH’s forensic mental health program. The review panel has a mandate to identify ways to improve the community pass system to ensure CAMH is providing opportunities for patients to recover as mandated by the Ontario Review Board, while ensuring the safety of the community.
The panel will conduct their work and deliver a report to CAMH with recommendations by the end of 2019. The full report will be made available to the public following its release and CAMH will develop an implementation plan in response to the recommendations contained within the report.
For more information about the review, please click here.
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