Progress Update 2020
One year ago, CAMH accepted and committed to implement all twelve recommendations from an expert review panel that was struck to provide advice on improvements to the system of passes and privileges in CAMH’s forensic program. The recommendations outlined how CAMH could enhance public safety, while improving care and helping forensic patients recover.
Highlights of CAMH’s progress over the past year include construction of a new fully secure outdoor therapeutic space and a memorandum of understanding with Toronto Police Service (TPS) to improve information sharing that will be finalized early in 2021.
The new, secured outdoor space will increase the number of opportunities for patients to take part in therapeutic and recreational activities as part of their recovery. Space is limited in the old, institutional buildings that were not purpose-built for modern forensic health care. The last phase of CAMH’s redevelopment, which includes a new forensic facility, will be completed as early as 2026 and the secured outdoor space provides some flexibility for programming until that time.
To further the dual goal of protecting public safety and improving patient recovery, CAMH has been working with TPS to formalize communications and information sharing policies through a comprehensive memorandum of understanding.
While CAMH continues to make great strides to keep the community safe, and provide meaningful opportunities for recovery for patients, it is clear that forensic mental health remains one of the most misunderstood aspects of the health care system.
People found not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial because of their mental health condition do not go to jail. Instead, they receive treatment at a forensic mental health program like the one at CAMH. The goal of the forensic mental health care system is to help people recover so that they may reintegrate into the community.
As leaders in mental health care, CAMH remains committed to improving understanding about the forensic mental health program and the patients it serves. We appreciate the support of our local community and partners as we work together toward continuous improvement.