It was 25 years ago last month that CAMH was created through a merger between what was then called the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, the Addiction Research Foundation, the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and the Donwood Institute.
CAMH instantly became Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and, 25 years later, continues to lead the way in delivering mental health and addictions research and care.
“I truly believe that mental health is the most important health issue of our lifetime. We have achieved so much over the past 25 years, but I know that our best days are still ahead,” remarked CAMH President and CEO, Sarah Downey.
“As we look ahead to the next 25 years, I’m confident that we will continue to inspire hope through more breakthrough research discoveries, delivering exceptional patient care and ensuring that mental health and addictions remain on the national agenda.”
The early years of the newly created CAMH were spent laying the groundwork to execute an ambitious vision that would see the construction and consolidation of world-class clinical and research facilities. The enormity of this vision was matched only by the organization’s determination to see this plan through to completion.
In 2006, seven years after the initial study recommending CAMH consolidate its main functions on one site, construction on Phase 1A began—officially kicking off our comprehensive redevelopment plan. By 2022, CAMH had completed three phases of construction and announced the fourth and final phase (Phase 1D) replacing existing facilities for patients with complex mental illness who have encountered the legal system and consolidating research in one state-of-the-art facility.
In keeping with the ambition that has underscored this redevelopment, in 2023 CAMH launched No One Left Behind, the world’s largest fundraising campaign to support hospital-based mental health research.
In celebration of all that has been accomplished in CAMH’s short 25-year history, we’re excited to share some key milestones that demonstrate how we have grown, changed and delivered on our promise to transform lives and shape a future where nobody is left behind.