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CMHA Toronto Newsletter – Winter 2012

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CMHA Toronto Newsletter – Fall 2010


Latest News

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

Read More


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.

October 28, 2016 CMHA Toronto seeks help to find a missing person

weese-1(Oct. 28, Toronto) – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto Branch is looking for the public’s help to find a longtime client who has gone missing.

Gary Weese, 64, has been a familiar face at and a regular, reliable client of CMHA Toronto for more than 15 years. As a person with lived experience of a mental illness, Weese has steadfastly attended the branch office twice a week for services. He has only missed a counselling session a handful of times since 2001.

Weese was last seen in the Neilson Road and Ellesmere Road area on Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m. He had been to a doctor’s appointment.

“Gary is a very responsible person and has always called to let us know if he’s going to miss or reschedule an appointment,” said Oliver Bucknor, Weese’s longtime case manager at CMHA Toronto. “We and his family are extremely worried and want him home safe.”

Weese takes medication to help with his mental illness and lives independently. There are no signs he has returned home since he was last seen on Sept. 25.

Weese is described as average build, 5-foot-5, 180 pounds and bald. He was last seen wearing black track pants, blue golf shirt and black shoes.

A photo of Weese is attached.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-4300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637)

For more information or to arrange an interview with Weese’s family or case manager, contact:

Joe Kim
Communications Director
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
416-977-5580 ext. 4141

News Release



October 28, 2016 2015-16 Annual Report Now Available

Download the 2015-16 Annual Report

September 14, 2016 Share your opinion with CMHA Ontario

Clients, their families, front-line staff and others associated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto Branch have a unique opportunity to contribute to the future direction of CMHA’s Ontario Division.

CMHA Ontario is an organization that lends its voice to the positive work delivered at 30 CMHA branches across the province. CMHA Ontario regularly includes issues relevant to branches during engagement with government and sector partners at the provincial level. The Division advocates for changes in the mental health and addictions system that, we believe, will improve peoples’ journey to recovery.

With this context in mind, CMHA Ontario is asking for your help. Currently, Ontario Division is developing a new three-year strategic plan and is reaching out to front-line staff, clients, their families and others associated with the branch for input.

If you would like to contribute, please complete this brief online survey. The survey is open from Sept. 14-30, 2016.

This is a tremendous opportunity to shape how CMHA’s provincial organization represents this branch and we encourage you to participate. CMHA Ontario Division wants to hear your ideas to help inform their upcoming strategic plan!

Fill out the anonymous survey at the link below and share your views. The survey is part of as part of a comprehensive, province wide consultation process. Check out for more info.

The survey can also be downloaded here and printed.



Featured Events

FOR ESMÉ Launches Holiday Fundraiser in partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association

Electronic pop music that’s optimistic and sincere” – Chart Attack 
An electro-pop infused take of moody disco” – Noisey
Empowering, feminist, and poppy enough to dance to” –  Ride The Tempo


Ride with us! June 26, 2016

About Ride Don’t Hide

Ride Don’t Hide is a community bike ride hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), with the goal to raise awareness and help break the stigma surrounding mental health while raising essential funds to support mental health programs. CMHA rides will be hosted in six provinces in 35 communities with the aim to engage over 8,000 participants and raise $1,500,000. Learn more about how you can make an impact by joining Ride Don’t Hide and how CMHA will support you before, during and after the ride.

The community event is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for riders of all ages and abilities—from novice rider to the advanced cyclist. Regardless of distance, you will travel a route supported from start to finish with rest stops, water to fuel the journey, fans to cheer you on, and enjoy a fun day on your bike for a great cause! To find locations and ride details, find a ride in the community nearest you.

If you are not near a ride location but want to support this meaningful event, consider becoming a virtual rider or create your own!

How can I join?

Register for a ride in the community nearest you or donate to Ride Don’t Hide to support mental health programs for all. You can also volunteer, or create a team.



LHWe’re really excited to announce that on Tuesday, March 29th renowned author Lawrence Hill will be and taking the stage at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) to speak about his late sister Karen’s posthumous book “Café Babanussa” and to answer your questions about mental health. Hill, best known for his 2007 novel “The Book of Negroes” and his most recent novel “The Illegal” will be speaking about Karen Hill’s passion for life and her mental health struggles. He will also be available to sign copies of his sister’s book (included in price of ticket). The evening will also feature performances by Kassandra Meyers and the Spoke N’ Heard Collective.

The event runs from 6:00 – 8:30 pm, and the ticket price of $75.00 (plus tax) includes appetizers and a copy of “Café Babanussa.”  All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Toronto Branch, so please be sure to spread the word to your friends and networks!

Eventbrite Ticket Sales

Facebook Event Page

Visit our booth at the Toronto International Bike Show from March 4-6th!

Ride Don’t Hide is a community bike ride hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

The goal is to raise awareness and help break the stigma surrounding mental health while raising much-needed funds to support mental health programs.

Visit our booth at the Toronto International Bike Show March 4-6th!

Setting the Stage for the Mental Health for All Conference 2016 Together by Design Sept 28 - 30, 2016 Toronto

Planning is underway for the inaugural Mental Health for All Conference 2016 in downtown Toronto next September 28-30, 2016. CMHA National will lead the industry wide event with CMHA Ontario hosting the conference.

This conference will benefit individuals and organizations across the mental health, mental illness and addiction sectors. Partnerships are in place with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA) to support program development, marketing and outreach to support the conference.

Setting this conference apart from past events will be the national focus on information sharing and partnership between Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction thought leaders, researchers, policy makers, service providers and front line staff.

The theme “Together by Design,” reflects that purposeful innovation and collaboration by sector partners are the keys to overcoming barriers, improving access to services and ensuring positive outcomes.

A pre-conference day is being planned for September 28 with in-depth workshops as well as a CMHA Ontario Conference. On September 29 – 30 a variety of panels, presentations, displays and keynote speakers will round out the themed program.

As the premier professional mental health and addiction conference in Canada, it will attract speakers and delegates from a diverse range of leading organizations.

The Mental Health for All Conference 2016 is expected to:

  • Attract a new/more diverse audience of delegates and sponsors
  • Provide an excellent and high value delegate experience with a focus on professional development and nation-wide collaboration
  • Provide a showcase for successful programs, best practices and information sharing
  • Grow the event each year and build on past successes
  • Provide exhibitors the opportunities to meet face to face with delegates
  • Provide a showcase for national and local media exposure and increased partnerships with members, elected officials and other stakeholders.

Call for abstracts

The conference streams, sub topics and submission information are online with the submission information.

The following streams have been identified by the Program Advisory Committee:

  • Diversity in mental health / Serving Diverse Populations
  • Prevention and Programs
  • Advocacy and Public Policy
  • Interactions with the Criminal Justice System
  • Research and Practice Collaborations
  • Social Indicators of Health / The Frontlines

Abstract submissions will be accepted until Friday February 12, 2016.

Please mark your 2016 calendars and plan to attend the Mental Health for All Conference 2016 from September 28- 30 in Toronto!

Register for conference updates online.

If you have any questions, please contact conference consultant, Maureen Shuell.

Toronto Argonauts


Housing 4 All FLASH: Release of Election Podcast Series

housing for all

Issue #5 September 24, 2015

Housing for All Election Podcast Series: Hear it from the candidates! 

In support of the National Week of Action on Housing from September 23 to 30, CHRA is pleased to release its Housing for All Election Podcast Series in the form of 10 to 15 minute individual interviews with candidates who are housing champions and spokespeople from different parties.

This format offers CHRA members and voters a unique opportunity to learn more about each party’s housing platform in a more engaging way.

Today, we are releasing two English interviews conducted with Liberal candidate and housing critic Adam Vaughan and NDP candidate and housing critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet.

We are also releasing two interviews conducted in French, with NDP candidate Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, as well as with Liberal candidate Marc Garneau.

Note that we have extended the invitation to the Conservative Party and the Green Party but have not received confirmation of their participation as of yet.

Listen to the Housing for All Election Podcast Series!

New Poll: Over Half of Canadians Support Political Party that Makes Affordable Housing a Priority

(TORONTO, September 23) Sixty-nine percent of Canadian households are home owners, yet over half across Canada would support a political party that makes affordable housing a priority for those who are working poor, low income and homeless, and would support financial investment of two billion dollars per year, a new poll finds.

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO), along with the Vote Housing For All Network, commissioned EKOS Research Associates to conduct a short survey of national attitudes towards affordable housing as an election issue in the current federal election campaign.

Read full September 23 ACTO release
Platform Info + Analysis from Housing Sector Influencers

Tyee Solutions Society Housing Fix – Party Platforms

Homeless Hub Election Guide

FCM Policy Tracker

Keep up the pressure on the campaign trail!

Meet with your federal election candidates between now and the October 19 federal election.

Hand candidates personally the Housing for All one pager explaining the issue.

Show candidates the Housing for All video and share it amongst your networks,via community meetings, email and social media.

Want more info on the issue? Visit

Copyright © 2015 Canadian Housing & Renewal Association, All rights reserved.

AGM Invitation CMHA Toronto

Ride Don't Hide

Join us at the Greater Toronto Area’s Ride Don’t Hide Community Bike Ride! This event will  raise awareness and funds for mental health services and supports in our community.  The ride will begin and end at the Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket and consist of 20 km, 10 km and 5km family friendly routes, and a 60 km experienced cyclist route.

Date:               Sunday, June 21, 2015

Time:               7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.

Location:        Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket

The Rider Celebration will begin at 12:00p.m. with Award presentations, BBQ lunch, live music and more!

This year’s ride will attract over 800 riders, 100 volunteers and many more community supporters.  Collectively, we will be joining together to raise awareness for mental health, fight stigma associated with mental illness and raise money to support local programs and services.

Money raised will be directed towards supportive housing, primary health care initiatives, our Holiday Gift Program, and a mobile youth mental health clinic for York Region & South Simcoe.

For more information on Ride Don’t Hide, please go to

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK – May 4 – 10, 2015

How do you really feel?



Or phine? (Definition: saying you’re fine, when you’re not)


Now is the time to GET LOUD, because being phine is not fine.


We all want to be healthy and happy. And good mental health is vitally important for both. No one can be truly healthy without good mental health. It involves how we feel, think, act and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about coping with the normal stresses of life and making a contribution to our community.

Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a “perfect” life. It’s about living well and having the tools for coping with difficult situations even during life’s challenges. Each person’s path to mental well-being is unique. We all have our own goals, our own challenges, our own talents and our own supports. But good mental health is within everyone’s reach.


To learn more about mental health, go to: CMHA Toronto


And to GET LOUD in support of mental health, go to: