Families are on the front lines of the battle to help loved ones cope with the challenges of mental illness, including substance use disorders. They are the ones who first see the signs and symptoms, live with the consequences of troubled behaviour and play an active role in getting help.
At CAMH, we support family, as family helps those facing mental illness, including addictions. Our definition of family is as broad as the range of people—relatives, partners, friends, co-workers and other— who come forward in times of need.
With a call to Access CAMH (416 535-8501, ext. 2), family members can get help navigating the system, including referrals to CAMH, and finding useful information about mental health.
The Office of Family Engagement (OFE) recognizes, celebrates and supports the contribution of families in helping to meet the challenges of mental illness faced by their loved ones. We believe that families can best support each other when they themselves are properly supported.
The OFE does this in a number of ways, including through our Family Resource Centre and Family Advisory Committee and by helping families navigate the often complex mental health system. Further to the information below, you can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 416 535-8501, ext. 33202.
Family Resource Centre
The Family Resource Centre offers a safe, welcoming space, with a child-friendly play area. Family members will also find a wide range of printed educational materials on mental illness, including addictions, and a lending library of recommended resources and information on community supports. For those who need it, computer, printer and telephone services are available. And of course, trained dedicated volunteers who can answer your questions and consult with you are always available.
The Family Advisory Committee (FAC) represents the broad interests of family members with lived experience supporting a family member with mental health challenges. The FAC advocates patient- and family-centred care and works to enhance the patient and family experience at CAMH. The FAC is a partnership between 10 family members and two CAMH staff. Family members who are interested in joining when there is an opening on the committee can contact the OFE for a recruitment package.
Help Navigating & Improving the System
Navigating the mental health system is a challenge. The CAMH OFE is dedicated to learning how we can make it easier for families to find what they need. Volunteers will help you navigate the system, and staff will welcome your input, suggestions and stories as we make it easier to get the information you need.
Online Education for Families
CAMH is dedicated to supporting families affected by mental health and substance use problems by providing resources such as these online education modules:
Empowering Families Affected by Psychosis This course is for people who have a friend or relative with psychosis. TAKE COURSE
Empowering Families Affected by Substance Use Problems This course is for people who have a friend or relative with a substance use problem. TAKE COURSE