Pictured above: CAMH staff celebrate administering a significant milestone of 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. CAMH is proud to have contributed to the health and safety of our local community through the provision of COVID-19 vaccines at our onsite clinics.
CAMH is saving lives today
In another year filled with challenges, CAMH remained a pillar of strength, resilience and hope for the people we serve. Guided by our belief that Mental Health is Health, we supported our patients and their families locally, and advanced work that is having national and global impact. We are proud to look back at a year in which the CAMH community has continued to drive new research and discovery, deliver high-quality care virtually through digital health innovation, build capacity and provide system leadership, prioritize health equity, and grow the mental health movement. Through our work we are saving lives together—as One CAMH.
A message from our leadership
What. A. Year. Navigating the second, into the third year of the pandemic, was a challenge for so many of us – we were tired and overwhelmed, sad, but hopeful at the same time.
And because supporters and donors like you put your hope into action, people who were struggling and needed addiction and mental health care received compassionate and respectful care at CAMH, when they needed those connections the most.
In fact, creating connections – in a time of being apart – has enabled us to help more people than ever before, at a time when the need for our services and support has never been greater.
Over the past year, thanks to your generosity, we have vastly expanded our virtual care programs. From outpatient clinics to supports for patients who have recently left the hospital, we are now hosting more than 10,000 virtual visits a month.
While many of us have virtual-meeting fatigue, 90 per cent of our patients reported high levels of satisfaction with their CAMH virtual care experiences, and recommended we continue to make virtual connection and care an option.
Our focus on connection doesn’t end in a video chat window. As you’ll read in this report, our teams have continued to link-up to ensure world-leading research by CAMH scientists informs how we care for patients in our hospital, and how we train mental health and addiction clinicians.
We are expanding the in-person and virtual network of Youth Wellness Hubs in Ontario so more young people can connect to mental health resources wherever and whenever they need them. And, with your generous support, we have been able to continue to help our patients in their recovery journeys, including through connection-making via the Gifts of Light recreation therapy programs.
Thank you for your generosity, support, and compassionate connections over this past year. You are putting mental health at the centre of health care and, together, we are reinforcing our belief that Mental Health is Health.
President & CEO
President & CEO
Chair, Board of Trustees
Chair, Board of Directors
CAMH is leading a groundbreaking research study that will recruit and follow 3,000 youth over five years to better predict and treat mental illness in young people, and ultimately transform care and outcomes. Through the Toronto Adolescent & Youth (TAY) Cohort Study, experts will track not only participants' clinical care information, but also data related to genetics, brain circuitry and key aspects of brain functioning like memory and cognition.
This is not research that will go on for ten years and then we’ll sit down and think about how it can inform clinical practice. Every time we make a decision about the study, we take it back to the clinical team and say ‘How exactly will you use this? Can we make a dashboard that you can immediately use to inform patient care?'
—Dr. Kristin Cleverley, Senior Scientist, CAMH
increase in remission rates
Pharmacogenetic testing shows promise improving symptoms for treatment-resistant depression
A study led by CAMH’s Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics showed that pharmacogenetic testing was associated with nearly a two-fold increase in remission rates compared to treatment as usual. These results demonstrate the clinical value of pharmacogenetic testing and give hope that more personalized treatment and better outcomes are on the horizon.
CAMH-led team of scientists receive new funding to help treat depression
A team of Toronto scientists, led by CAMH’s Dr. Tarek Rajji, has been awarded a new grant from Bell Let’s Talk and Brain Canada to find a long-lasting treatment for depression, a risk factor for dementia. This collaboration combines all forms of research–truly going from bench to bedside–in order to co-create knowledge that brings effective treatments to people sooner.
Brain stimulation as possible treatment for cannabis use disorder in people with schizophrenia
A study led by CAMH’s Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention shows the effectiveness of brain stimulation in treating cannabis use disorder in people with schizophrenia. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was associated with a 60 per cent reduction in cannabis use among participants. These findings are important for future clinical research in this area, as there are currently no effective treatments for cannabis use disorder in people with schizophrenia.
People who have been diagnosed with a mental illness are more likely to have poor sleep quality compared to the general population, according to the largest study of its kind ever conducted. Led by CAMH’s Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics, the study highlights the utility of patient data–from sleep patterns to brain circuitry–to not only understand mental illness, but also to deliver improved, personalized mental health care.
Virtual care and digital health innovation are saving lives today
The ongoing pandemic has only exacerbated the mental health crisis, and CAMH has seen a sharp increase in the number of people seeking care, including nearly 14,000 Emergency Department visits in 2021. We are leveraging our expertise as a data-driven organization and leader in digital health to ensure everyone has access to the care they need—and deserve.
providers have received training from ECHO Ontario Trans Gender and Diverse Health care
increase in perceived competence to deliver transgender and gender-diverse health care
Virtual trans health care
CAMH is using virtual care to fill gaps in access to safe and gender-affirming health care for LGBTQ2S people who continue to experience worsening mental health that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Through virtual training and capacity building using multipoint video conferencing, this initiative has provided a trans-affirming space for health care providers from across the province to learn from one another about medical transition, with a focus on delivering trans and gender-diverse health care to their patients.
“ECHO Ontario Mental Health is about increasing capacity across the health care system in Ontario so that people can get the care they need closer to home,” said Carey Lawford, Social Worker in CAMH’s Adult Gender Identity Clinic.
The CAMH Simulation Centre was granted official accreditation status by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, making it the only hospital mental health simulation centre in the world to receive the honour. The Centre is the first of its kind to focus on training, research and quality improvement at all levels of mental health education.
Our simulation centre not only helps create a high standard of care for people with mental illness, but also a high standard of training and education for healthcare professionals who care for people with mental illness.
—Stephanie Sliekers, Manager, Simulation and Digital Innovation, CAMH
CAMH's system leadership is saving lives today
CAMH provides system leadership to advance mental health standards locally, nationally and globally. We develop evidence-based models of care, build capacity among health care professionals, and spread best practices to improve services and supports for all populations and communities.
Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario expands virtual youth mental health services
Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) has expanded its existing network of hubs to help thousands of young people access mental health resources wherever they are and whenever they need them. The timely expansion is made possible thanks to a $1-million gift from RBC Foundation that will support the development of YWHO’s virtual platform, an innovative one-stop-shop co-designed by CAMH alongside young people, family members, service providers, e-health scholars and government. The platform will provide a range of fully integrated, developmentally appropriate youth services, while amplifying and delivering supports and services for young people living in remote or rural areas.
A speciality care model for young people experiencing psychosis at CAMH’s Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition is being expanded. NAVIGATE provides comprehensive care to patients and their families including medication to reduce symptoms, a family education program, resiliency training to help patients identify and develop strengths, and counselling to help young people pursue their education and employment goals.
With key philanthropic support from the Toor Family Foundation, the program has added three specialized bipolar disorder e-learning clinical trailing modules, which will build capacity at the Slaight Centre and allow more young people to benefit from NAVIGATE’s unique multi-disciplinary, personalized approach to youth clinical care.
Expansion of a mental health program supporting Black youth
The Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth (SAPACCY) at CAMH addresses gaps in culturally appropriate care by providing accessible, Africentric and racial trauma-informed support to Black youth who are dealing with mental health and substance use concerns.
In November 2021, The Black Health Alliance supported by the Office of Health Equity at CAMH and CAMH clinical leadership secured annual funding of $2.9 million to build a SAPACCY network. In addition to an increase in staffing for SAPACCY at CAMH, seven new community services inspired by SAPPACCY will be created in community organizations. This expansion will add new community satellite locations in Toronto, Peel, Hamilton, Ottawa and Windsor, and allow SAPACCY to grow its program levels and deliver these important services to more youth.
This is an opportunity to build a program that is robust, sustainable and equitable. That means ensuring that additional resources and supports are available to respond to the needs of youth throughout the growing list of communities that SAPACCY serves.
—Nicole Waldron, Member, Family Advisory Committee, CAMH
Health equity is saving lives today
Health equity is at the centre of everything CAMH does. We are working toward a safer and more inclusive environment for all and creating a world where we can truly say Mental Health is Health—for everyone.
CAMH launches Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan
In May 2021, CAMH launched the CAMH Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan, a three-year strategy to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people at CAMH. The plan invites everyone at CAMH to take up the work of reconciliation with detailed actions to:
• create a safe work environment for First Nations, Inuit and Métis staff and physicians;
• create an environment where First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and families feel safe to receive CAMH services; and
• ensure accountability for meeting targets associated with CAMH’s reconciliation agenda.
Built into this Action Plan is a list of clear directions to ensure targets are achieved through a lens of anti-Indigenous racism, reconciliation and Indigenous cultural safety. The plan was initiated by a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff at CAMH before it was adopted by CAMH leadership.
It is critical that the development of the CAMH Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan was a joint-effort by Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff. Indigenous Peoples cannot carry the burden of this work alone, and for real system-change to happen, non-Indigenous allies and leadership must take ownership over progress towards truth and reconciliation.
—Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, Senior Project Manager, Shkaabe Makwa and Mohawk, and Co-Chair, CAMH Reconciliation Working Group
Trans people accessing acute mental health care more likely to experience marginalization
A CAMH-led study showed that transgender individuals who access acute mental health care are more likely to experience marginalization, present with mood disorders and are two times more likely to be diagnosed with personality disorders than the general population accessing these services.
“This research makes a strong case for the need to identify transgender people in the healthcare system. By creating more transgender-inclusive systems and data collection practices, we can integrate inclusive response options to better understand the experience and health of transgender individuals,” says Dr. Alex Abramovich, an Independent Scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research.
One in three LGBTQ2S homeless youth have attempted suicide since pandemic onset
According to a CAMH-led study, more than one-third (36 per cent) of Toronto-area LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness have attempted suicide since the COVID-19 pandemic began and 82 per cent have engaged in self-harm. This first-of-its-kind study highlights the need for more inclusive, population-based access to life-saving health and social support services for LGBTQ2S youth.
Our reasons for believing Mental Health is Health may differ, but we all play an important part in the movement. CAMH’s community of supporters continue to turn their reasons into action by fueling the life-saving work that happens here.
raised for every dollar spent
Fundraising with impact and transparency
CAMH Foundation, the fundraising arm of CAMH, aims to maximize the impact of every dollar raised so it is directed to the people and programs that need it most. For the year that ended March 31, 2022, CAMH reported a fundraising ratio of 38 per cent expenses to revenue. That means for every $1 spent fundraising, we were able to raise $2.62 to support better mental health care and outcomes for people at CAMH and around the world.
Today, I encourage you to ask the tough questions: ‘How are you? How are you really?’ And then, just be willing to listen. You might change a life, or save one. Mental health is health. This is why I support CAMH.
—Darren Gilroy, Sun Life Canada, CAMH Corporate Donor & Sunrise Challenge Sponsor
Thank you to the many people who share their time, resources and passion with CAMH. Each and every one of you are an important part of the mental health movement and a valued member of the CAMH community. Your support of CAMH and mental health is changing lives today.
CAMH is committed to transparency, accountability and keeping our community informed. We are pleased to provide a financial update from CAMH and CAMH Foundation for the past fiscal year (ended March 31, 2022)