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August 11, 2017 Ontario Perception of Care Survey Results for Fall / Winter 2016 - CMHA Toronto


The Ontario Perception of Care Tool (OPOC) is a tool by which clients and families can provide confidential feedback on their perception of the kind of care they receive. This survey is being used across the Province of Ontario by many mental health and addictions agencies so that they can improve services, observe trends in their community, and respond more effectively to the needs of the people they serve.

May 29, 2017 Steve Lurie's letter to the Globe and Mail in reference to the article, " Hospital overcrowding has become the norm in Ontario, figures show," published May 21, 2017

The reason that hospitals like LHSC have psychiatric bed occupancy rates well over 100% is that we have failed to design the system to focus on early intervention and rapid access to services.  For example Hamilton, which has had psychiatric services integrated with primary health care for over 25 years, is able to ensure rapid  access to mental health care and avoid sending people to hospital because no other option exists. We need to scale up shared care programs like Hamilton has and increase access to psychotherapy.  The Ontario  government should outline their plans for this now. Increasing hospital funding but not adding substantially to increasing community capacity is a step in the wrong direction.

To read the article click Here

May 17, 2017 Steve Lurie, tireless mental health advocate, accepts insignia and is invested to the Order of Canada

(Friday, May 12, 2017, Toronto) – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario would like to congratulate Steve Lurie, Executive Director of the CMHA Toronto Branch, on his appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada.

January 18, 2017 BELL LET’S TALK

CMHA Toronto congratulates Bell for its continued commitment and efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and change people’s behaviours and attitudes about mental health in communities across Canada.

Since its launch in 2010, Bell’s Let’s Talk awareness campaign has engaged Canadians in the dialogue around mental health. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell contributes 5 cents for every text message and long distance call sent by its customers to mental health related initiatives. In addition to phone and text, the general public are encouraged to engage in a dialogue about mental health through social media and access information about Bell Let’s Talk.

CMHA has identified the elimination of stigma and the reduction of discrimination experienced by people with mental illness as one of its top priority areas. Bell’s campaign encourages people to “start the conversation” about mental health with friends, family and co-workers. Simply talking makes a significant impact in breaking down the stigma attached to mental illness and helps individuals realize the importance of not only improving but maintaining their mental health.

For more information on Bell Let’s Talk, go to:


January 5, 2017 Family Outreach and Response Program

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January 5, 2017 It’s past time to invest in mental health: Editorial

January 3, 2017 Steve Lurie's letter to the Globe and Mail published Jan 2, 2017, "WHAT READERS THINK Jan. 2: Because it’s 2017 ... Plus other letters to the editor"

Because it’s 2017: A health accord

If the provinces want to improve access to care and reduce pressures on hospitals, they need to in-vest in mental health. Now. Provinces that haven’t reached a deal with Ottawa, and that includes Ontario, should accept the federal offer on mental-health and home-care funding and continue to discuss the size of health transfers with the federal government.

The mental-health and home-care investments will increase capacity to provide services in people’s homes and the community while reducing pressure on hospital services, a major driver of increased health care costs.

Under the last accord, the provinces failed to make needed investments in mental-health services. For example, between 2004 and 2011, Ontario invested $16.45 per capita in mental health services, while putting $1,361 per capita into other areas of health care. Compare that to Australia, which invested $98.13 in mental-health services, New Zealand’s $198 and the U.K, which invested $62.22. Provinces aren’t meeting the 2012 health spending targets of 9 per cent recommended by the Mental Health Commission.

Ontario’s mental-health share of health spending is some 6 per cent, Saskatchewan’s is 5 per cent. Without more funds, wait lists and wait times will keep growing.

In Ontario, young people are waiting up to 18 months for mental-health assessments and services, in Toronto, 2,000 people are waiting up to a year to access community mental-health services. The wait list for supportive housing has over 12,000 names, with wait times of up to seven years.

Steve Lurie, executive director, CMHA Toronto

January 3, 2017 Steve Lurie's letter to the Globe and Mail published Dec 16, 2016 in response to the article, "Health spending fails to keep pace with inflation, population growth"

A 10-year deal on health care would benefit provinces and all Canadians – but there must be targeted money for mental-health services, which did not receive adequate funding in the last accord.

A recent report prepared for the Ontario government shows an annual $1.5-billion shortfall in mental-health services based on disease burden.

As the Parliamentary Budget Officer has pointed out numerous times, without an agreement on funding, the federal share of health funding will decline from 21 per cent to 9 per cent by 2024. A small investment of $87 per Canadian over 10 years would improve access to mental-health care, which has not received sufficient funding from provincial governments.

In Toronto alone, more than 12,000 people are on the list for supportive housing, with waits up to seven years; almost 2,000 people are waiting for intensive case management services post discharge from hospital.

Cuts to health spending if no agreement is reached will make access to mental-health services more difficult when we should be improving care for the one in five Canadians who experience mental illness each year.

To read the article click Here

December 1, 2016 Help a child celebrate the season through our Holiday Gift Program

It’s been over 60 years since CMHA Toronto began the Holiday Gift Program for those living with mental health issues who are isolated during the holidays. After all these years we continue to buy gifts, have hundreds of volunteers put them together with care, and send front-line workers to deliver them to those in need. Decades later we are still making a difference in people’s lives by warming their hearts at the time of year they need it most. After all these years, however, the need is still there.

With your support the Holiday Gift Program will reach more individuals this year who are in need of kindness during the holidays.

Learn more about the holiday donation program.