About CMHA Toronto

O
CMHA
Toronto
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Company Photo
Company Photo

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is a nationwide, charitable organization that promotes mental health for all.

Established in 1953, CMHA Toronto has grown to operate 26 sites across the city, employing over 425 staff and serving over 15,000 individuals each year.

Our vision is for mentally healthy people in a healthy society. We are on a mission to improve the mental health of all with services, advocacy and leadership that create belonging and hope.

26
sites across Toronto
425
staff
15,000
people served annually

What We Do

Mental Health Services & Programs

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Our wide-range of services and programs aim to promote recovery and encourage positive mental health. We help clients and their families access different types of support as their needs change. By being culturally responsive, accessible and inclusive we can support the diverse needs of our community members.

Based in collaboration and partnership, our programs address the factors that impact mental health including housing, access to education, social and community connections, financial stability and health care access.

Mental Health Promotion

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Through community-based workshops, resources and programs, we champion the importance of mental health promotion. This work helps create and maintain safe living and working environments where people can experience and support positive mental health.

Mental Health Research, Leadership & Advocacy

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  • We use our influence, research and experience to drive systemic change.
  • We relentlessly pursue a mental health and addictions care system that is accessible to everyone.
  • We champion mental health promotion and mental health illness and addictions prevention within the broader mental health and addictions system.

How We Do It

People living with mental health challenges or mental illness are the experts of their experience.

Anchored in equity and inclusion, we listen to our clients to gauge what support they need and how they want to engage with our services and supports. All of our work aims to address the social determinants of health so people can become, and stay, well.

Through a client-first, trauma-informed, recovery-oriented approach, together we build tailored plans to advance recovery.

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Client-first

Clients and their families decide which programs and services are best for them and have the most powerful voice in designing what gives them good health and a strong community.

People with living experience also help guide how our organization operates and the programs and services we offer.

Trauma and violence-informedWe recognize the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledge the role trauma may play in an individual's life.
Recovery-oriented

We respect that each individual’s recovery is unique and we offer multiple options to support their needs.

Recovery is an ongoing journey of self-healing and transformation. It means living a full, self-directed life in the community, with or without the presence of symptoms.

We see hope, self-determination, social inclusion, and wellbeing as key to recovery.

Latest News

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7 reasons why volunteering is good for our mental health

You will often hear therapists and counsellors suggest that “one of the best ways to help ourselves is to help others.” There’s solid evidence that shows volunteering to be good for our overall mental health. Lara Fruitman, RSW, an employment support worker with CMHA Toronto, summarizes the reasons why, in addition to the good it does in our communities, volunteering is also a boon for our individual mental health.
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In conversation with Murray Segal

Murray Segal, former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario, has served on CMHA Toronto’s board of directors since 2015. Now approaching the end of his term, he spoke with us about why he was motivated to volunteer with CMHA Toronto, some of CMHA Toronto’s key achievements during his tenure, and why he would encourage other leaders to consider volunteering.
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Running for mental health with marathoner Kalil Magtoto

Kalil Magtoto recovered from his own mental and physical health challenges by putting “one foot in front of the other” – literally. While training for his first half-marathon, he rekindled his commitment to raising awareness of men’s mental health and discovered that running in community is a powerful catalyst for personal and social change.
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On Routes: Reflections from a peer facilitator and a member on the vital role of the Routes community centre

Join Dorothy Leroux, peer facilitator, and Aaron Smith, member, who share their reflections on Routes and why it’s grown to be a vital source of connection, camaraderie, and hope for each of them.
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CMHA Toronto is honoured to be a 2023 recipient of the Nonprofit Employer of Choice Award

CMHA Toronto is honoured to be one of 22 organizations from across Canada to receive the 2023 Nonprofit Employer of Choice Award.
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Connecting with community at Routes

In a North York neighbourhood known more for its home reno centres than its community centres is a CMHA Toronto hub for wellness and recovery: Routes. Learn more about this safe, inclusive, peer-focused space that exists to create community and foster better mental health for people across the GTA.
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The Push-Up Challenge was a huge success – thanks to YOU!

At CMHA Toronto we were proud to have 1500 legends pushing for mental health, who collectively raised more than $115,000 to support much-needed community-based mental health services in Toronto.
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Support at court: Connecting people facing criminal charges with mental health treatment

CMHA Toronto’s Mental Health Court Support service connects people facing criminal charges with mental health treatment—making sure they have access to appropriate care and, in many cases, helping them avoid a criminal record.
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Top tips for better mental health from CMHA Toronto therapists

As we make our way through what has felt like a long winter, we asked some of CMHA Toronto’s clinical staff to offer practical advice to improve and sustain good mental health.
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An unequal burden: The pandemic experiences of Latin Americans in Toronto

A new study co-led by CMHA Toronto and Wellesley Institute explores the unique health inequities experienced by Spanish-speaking Latin Americans in Toronto during the pandemic and recommends specific policy changes needed to address them.
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Celebrating Black Canadians this February

This February, CMHA Toronto along with many other Canadians, will be honouring Black Canadians for Black History Month. We recognize and celebrate their achievements and reflect on their successes, sacrifices and triumphs.
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Mental Health in Politics: Creating Healthier Spaces for Change-makers

From 24/7 schedules to constant public scrutiny to the rising risk of verbal and physical violence, working in politics can take a toll on people’s health. This past November, CMHA Toronto teamed up with Apathy is Boring and Nominee to further the conversation about mental health in politics and engage political representatives, staff, and social change-makers in ways they can take care of themselves while working to make the world a better place for all of us.
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A day in the life of an employment support worker

We sat down with Ashleigh Rice, an employment support worker at CMHA Toronto, to learn more about the Employment Program and how employment can advance recovery.
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Kick the Winter Blues

With winter well underway, take a moment and make mental well-being your top priority. Increase your hours of natural light to keep your mood up. Learn how you can help beat the winter blues.
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In conversation with Carol Landaverde

Carol, a CMHA Toronto Addictions Services client, generously shared the story of her cannabis addiction and concurrent bipolar disorder, and how the skills, support and connection she got through CMHA Toronto helped her get sober.
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Inside CMHA Toronto’s Addiction Services

The number of people struggling with addictions is growing, and CMHA Toronto’s Addictions Services are growing to meet that need. Hear more from April Trewhitt, RP, who speaks about how important it is that CMHA Toronto, as one of Canada’s largest community mental health providers, has evidence-based and accessible addiction services that support both mental health and addictions issues.
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Paying it forward with Rayhan Hossain

Starting with his own placement over a decade ago, Rayhan Hossain, RP, has held multiple positions with the agency and has hosted students of his own – several of whom, like Rayhan, were getting their footing not just in their careers but in Canada. Read more about the win-win-win of the student placement program: for students, for supervisors and for CMHA Toronto.
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Unwrapping the magic of CMHA Toronto’s Holiday Gift Program

Recognizing the difficulties their clients may face over the holidays, Scarborough Health Network (SHN) has been a long-term partner of CMHA Toronto’s holiday gift program. Nicole Kitchen, a residential counsellor with SHN, shared her thoughts about the impact the program has on the people who receive gifts like Christine, and those, like her, who give them.
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CMHA Toronto’s Holiday Gift Program: Spreading belonging, joy and lifting spirits

CMHA Toronto’s holiday gift program has been spreading joy and lifting spirits for more than 50 years. The program’s gifts are more than just presents: they’re messages of hope, care, and belonging for those who may feel forgotten at what is often a difficult time of year. Learn more.
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Right care, right time, right place for people diagnosed with schizophrenia

In a fragmented health care system, Scarborough Health Network, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and the Durham and Toronto branches of the Canadian Mental Health Association have come together to reduce inefficiencies and prevent people from falling through the gaps. Read more about how the collaboration is aligning practitioners around a best-practice approach to care for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, their families, and their care teams.
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The drug poisoning crisis in Ontario and the need for harm reduction

Ontario is grappling with a deepening drug poisoning crisis. The harms related to unregulated opioids have seen a sharp uptick, with more emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and fatal overdoses. Harm reduction, an approach endorsed by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, is an evidence-based strategy for addressing this crisis.
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Coming together for digital equity

Black Creek Community Health Centre is the newest community partner agency to join CMHA Toronto’s Virtual Community Care Hubs. The program is not only increasing the impact and reach of BCCHC’s virtual diabetes management services, it’s also improving their clients’ digital literacy and, with that, digital equity for underserved communities in northeast Toronto.
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Virtual Community Care Hubs: Helping more people click through to care

Since the pandemic, going virtual has represented a convenient, low- or no-cost way for many people to access health services and enabled more people connect to the care they need. CMHA Toronto’s Virtual Community Care Hubs (VCCHs) have evolved to serve this need and continue to grow with new technology, new content, and new community partners.
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The Rehabilitation Action Program: Building trust with common language and culture

Fadumo Ibrahim, case manager, spoke with us about CMHA Toronto’s Rehabilitation Action Program, a culturally and linguistically focused community-based program for Afghan, Somali and Tamil people living with serious mental illness like bipolar or schizophrenia. \
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Leadership & research collaborating for quality and better outcomes

Collaborating for quality & better outcomes

CMHA Toronto is leading a multi-agency research team to increase collaboration across the sector and ultimately provide better access to high-quality community mental health services. Read more from CMHA Toronto’s Chief Research Officer, Frank Sirotich, who spoke with us about this important and innovative study.
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TCCS’s 5 Key Principles: Serving clients and communities better with compassionate, client-centred crisis care

Through vivid case examples, learn how TCCS’s non-carceral, compassionate, and client-centric approach puts “a foot in that revolving door of crisis to get to the root of the issue” for those experiencing a mental health emergency.
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Creating a space for safety and support

Archana, manager, and Matthew, clinical lead, of Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) spoke with us about the pilot program launched July 2022 that is creating space and safety between the police response to those in mental health crisis and the often-retraumatizing hospital environment.
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4 tips for self-care

4 Tips for Trauma-Informed Self-Care: Caring for yourself while caring for others

“We’re always acutely aware of the impact trauma has on our clients and the impact that it has on those of us who serve them,” says Housing First manager, Pio Giralico. In June, we spoke with the Housing First team who shared their reflections, insights, and techniques for dealing with the day-to-day trauma they experience in their work.
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Housing First: Stories of housing and hope

Three Housing First clients share their stories of recovery and resilience in the face of different challenges.
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Housing is a human right

Housing First: More than a roof over their heads

These days, in major centres across North America including Toronto, the right to housing is going unfulfilled for some of society’s most vulnerable. So, in the meantime, CMHA Toronto’s Housing First team offers support, counselling, access to healthcare, and other resources that can keep people afloat as they work to secure safe, affordable housing.
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5 things to know if your loved one is hospitalized for a mental health issue

Elly Litvak and Shannon O’Neill, family navigators with CMHA Toronto’s Family Navigation & Support program, offer five things to keep in mind if you have a loved one who has recently been hospitalized for a mental health concern.
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The recovery journey takes a team: Friends and family need support too

It can be scary, confusing, and frustrating to interact with the mental health care system. But for hundreds of people whose loved ones are involved in psychiatric care at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Elly Litvak and Shannon O’Neill are companions, guides, and advocates for the kind of support that is often unavailable to families.
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Walking together on the road to recovery

Although their routes to and through the mental health system varied, Liz, Sharon, Connie, and Linda found that their paths became a little less rocky and their skills and spirits were strengthened once they were connected with the resources and support available from CMHA Toronto’s Family Navigation & Support program.
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It takes a village: Multicultural Women’s Wellness Groups offer a community of support

Women who join one of CMHA Toronto’s multi-cultural women’s wellness groups are sure to find something of interest and value – delivered for them, with them and often by them. While multicultural women’s wellness groups have been available through partnerships between CMHA Toronto and various community agencies for more than a dozen years, going online during the pandemic enabled the groups to reach more people and engage more guest speakers than ever before. 
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Nothing about us without us: Integrating the client’s voice and lived experience

Clients and family members are deeply embedded in the culture and structure of the agency, participating in working groups, committees, and throughout each program area. Including the client voice is intentional, mission-critical, and a best practice for advocacy and change for which CMHA Toronto is recognized in the broader community.
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Recovery College: Learning to heal and grow

In spring 2020 – as the pandemic was shutting down in-person learning around the world – CMHA Toronto collaborated with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences to take a curriculum of mental health and recovery-related educational courses online. Now in its fourth year, CMHA Toronto’s Recovery College has grown from five courses to a catalogue of more than 50 – learning that advances the recovery journey.
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CMHA Toronto celebrates Pride

CMHA Toronto joins individuals and organizations worldwide to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) individuals for Pride Month in June.
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I felt like a human being. I felt like I was contributing to society again. It reminded me that I still have something to give despite everything that I've gone through

Jacqualine turns her life around

A six-month community treatment order started Jacqualine on a road to recovery that took her life in directions she could barely have imagined. Thanks to her own active engagement, growing confidence, and the steady support of CMHA Toronto’s community treatment order team, Jacqueline now serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for those who are taking a similar journey.
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Demand up, supply down: Coping with the post-COVID mental health service crisis

The Intake, Information & Referral Team [Amanda at centre and Maria at far right] and student volunteers at a mental health and wellness fair held at the Jane-Finch Mall in fall 2022 CMHA Toronto’s Intake, Information and Referral Program is noticing a massive spike in demand in the post-pandemic period just at a time when the availability of services is
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A day in the life of a CMHA Toronto case manager

Sabrina Giralico sat down with us to talk about her role as a case manager with CMHA Toronto. This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
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CMHA Toronto launches food bank to address food insecurity

This winter the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto launched a food bank program to support our clients with mental health challenges who were also struggling with food insecurity.
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Integrating Care for People with Schizophrenia: Hospitals and Community working together

An integrated care pathway for people diagnosed with schizophrenia has been developed through a partnership between Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), Scarborough Health Network (SHN), Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto, and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Durham.
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CMHA Toronto partners with West Toronto’s Ontario Health Team to improve the mental health of all with free community workshops

The Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch (CMHA Toronto) is proud to announce its partnership with the West Toronto Ontario Health Team to deliver a series of free mental health workshops to the public.   The workshops will be focused on promoting mental wellness, providing support, and building resilience for individuals and communities during these challenging times. The partnership is part
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CMHA Toronto achieves Exemplary Standing with Accreditation Canada, receiving a perfect score!

CMHA Toronto has achieved a perfect score in its recent accreditation survey with Accreditation Canada – receiving Accreditation with Exemplary Standing.
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CMHA Toronto celebrates National Volunteer Week 2023

CMHA Toronto joins organizations across the country this week in celebrating National Volunteer Week. Volunteer Canada’s theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is Volunteering Weaves us Together. The intent behind this year’s theme is to celebrate individual and collective actions in creating strong, interconnected and vibrant communities. Volunteers are crucial to CMHA Toronto’s ability to provide well-resourced and effective
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CMHA Toronto opens doors for Syrian and Somali youth

In 2016, with 25,000 people arriving in Canada fleeing the trauma of the Syrian civil war, CMHA Toronto expanded its Opening Doors Project to include a youth mentorship component. A more intensive approach to address newcomers’ mental health issues in the context of their resettlement was urgently needed.
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Getting A Clean Break: CMHA Toronto’s Extreme Cleaning and Hoarding Supports service is needed now more than ever

After a hiatus during COVID-19, CMHA Toronto’s Extreme Cleaning and Hoarding Supports program is catching up with a backlog of cases on two fronts: those that were put on hold when the pandemic lockdowns started, and the demand that built up during COVID isolation that worsened the conditions driving the need in the first place.
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"I've been employed for two years now, and I've been well. I'm independent now. It's been amazing

Nurse Practitioner Stepped Care: A bridge on the road to recovery

NP Stepped Care liaises with four community-based ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) teams to identify and transition clients who are at a point in their recovery where they no longer require intensive support but still require medication, counselling, and case management services. The program also accepts clients from other CMHA Toronto programs.
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CMHA welcomes historic investment in community mental health and addictions

CMHA Toronto welcomes historic investment for community mental health and addictions in 2023 provincial budget

The provincial government has allocated the largest base funding commitment for community mental health and addictions care in a decade as part of their 2023 budget.  The government announced Thursday that it is providing the sector with $425 million over three years for mental health and addictions, including a five per cent increase for base funding of community-based mental health
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Our Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

CMHA Toronto is committed to equity, shared knowledge, advocacy and accountability at individual, organizational and systemic levels. We will provide effective mental health services that are accessible, meaningful and appropriate to diverse individuals and communities. CMHA Toronto opposes and acts against racism and other forms of discrimination, including those based on physical and mental disabilities, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religious beliefs,
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Donate Today

Mental Health for All

By supporting CMHA Toronto you help ensure that when people need mental health support in Toronto they have somewhere to turn.

Your donation helps create belonging and hope so clients can thrive in their home and community.

DONATE TODAY