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CMHA Toronto Newsletter – Winter 2012

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CMHA Toronto Newsletter – Fall 2010


Latest News

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

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.

Featured Events

Join CMHA Toronto in celebrating MadPride at a screening of CRAZYWISE

CMHA Toronto will be hosting a free screening of CRAZYWISE, in hopes to ignite a community conversation and movement towards supporting individual understandings of mental health beyond the western medical model. After the screening, join our panelist to discuss how we can take the traditional wisdoms from around the world and apply it to the communities we live in.

WHEN:           Thursday August 3rd  –  6:30 to 9:30 pm

AGENDA:       The screening is 90 minutes long, followed by a 90 minute panel discussion

WHERE:         The Ballroom at 519 Church Street


Crazy…or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’? The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience. Click here to see the extended trailer.

To learn more about our panelists, for event details and to get your free tickets, check us out on Eventbrite:

CMHA Toronto community members will be given early access to tickets from July 7th to 11th.  Event will be made public on July 12th.  Please share within CMHA Toronto until July 11th and then to your greater networks on July 12th.

For more details, please contact Pauline Ho at or 647.229.7014

We look forward to seeing you there!

2017 March For Mental Health

For more information click HERE

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

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AGM Invitation CMHA Toronto