Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Camh logo one.png
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Russell Street Site
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Care system Public Medicare (Canada) (OHIP)
Hospital type Mental Health
Affiliated university University of Toronto
Emergency department Yes
Founded 1998
Website http://www.camh.net/
Lists Hospitals in Canada

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is a consortium of mental health clinics at several sites in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its name in French is Centre de toxicomanie et de santé mentale. (The acronym CAMH is most commonly pronounced "Cam-H".)

Among the focuses of the organization are the assessment and treatment of schizophrenia, mood & anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. There is also a focus on addictions to alcohol, drugs, and problem gambling at the former ARF site. CAMH also has a Law and Mental Health Programme (forensic psychiatry and forensic psychology) and is a major research centre.

CAMH is a teaching hospital with central facilities located in Toronto and 26 community locations throughout the province of Ontario. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

In October 2008, CAMH was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine. Later that month, CAMH was also named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers, which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[1]



CAMH was formed in 1998 as a result of the merger of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, the Addiction Research Foundation, the Donwood Institute and Queen Street Mental Health Centre.[2]

Clarke Institute of Psychiatry

CAMH College Street site

The hospital was founded in 1966 and named the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, after Charles Kirk Clarke, a pioneer in mental health in Canada.

Much of their work focuses on forensic psychology and research designed to shape public policy.[citation needed]

The former Clarke Institute building is now referred to as the College St. site of CAMH.

Addiction Research Foundation

ARF was founded in 1949. H. David Archibald, who had studied at the School of Alcohol Studies at Yale University, was hired by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario in 1949. His mandate was to determine the scope of alcoholism in Ontario. He was named executive director when ARF opened and remained in that post until 1976. Focusing initially on outpatient treatment, their first facility was Brookside Hospital in 1951, expanding to branch offices and new locations in 1954, the same year they set up in-house research. In 1961, they expanded their mission to include drugs, Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation. In 1971, they expanded to a clinical teaching hospital called the Clinical Research and Treatment Institute. In 1978 ARF opened the School for Addiction Studies and expanded their international role in policy rdevelopment and research. Following ongoing recession in the 1990s, ARF was folded in 1998 into CAMH.[3]

Donwood Institute

Beginning in 1967, it had 47 beds and a 4-month waiting list in the 1980s. Focusing on substance abuse, boasted a 65% recovery rate for general population and an 85% recovery rate for physicians.[4]

Queen Street Mental Health Centre

This facility stands on what was once called the Provincial Lunatic Asylum, which opened on January 26, 1850. The facility had a series of names including the Toronto Lunatic Asylum and 999 Queen Street West.[5]

Reforms were made after a series of deaths at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre and newspaper accounts of involuntary drug treatment, electroshock therapy and prison-like conditions.[6][7]

CAMH Redevelopment

CAMH has been undergoing a 3 phase redevelopment plan which aims to accomplish 4 goals: 1) Deliver a new model of care and provide a healthy environment that promotes recovery; 2) Bring together the best research, clinical, education, health promotion, and policy experts in one place to change the future of mental health and addictions; 3) Revitalize the City of Toronto by opening up their site and by creating an inclusive new nine-block neighbourhood that benefits all and, 4) Change attitudes by breaking down barriers to eliminate the stigma of mental health.[8]


  1. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition". http://www.eluta.ca/top-employer-centre-for-addiction-and-mental-health. 
  2. ^ Scrivener, Leslie (February 25, 2007). Breakout at the asylum. Toronto Star
  3. ^ Blocker JS, Fahey DM, Tyrrell IR. Alcohol and temperance in modern history: an international encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO 2003. ISBN 1576078337 pp. 3–4.
  4. ^ Shilliday, Greg (May 15, 1983). The Donwood Institute: resort of last resort. Can Med Assoc J. 1983 May 15; 128(10): 1220–1221.
  5. ^ Everett, Barbara (2000). A Fragile Revolution: Consumers and Psychiatric Survivors Confront the Power of the Mental Health System. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. ISBN 0889203423
  6. ^ Goar, Carol (June 13, 2008). Mental health progress and pain.Toronto Star
  7. ^ (January 1, 2002). No straitjacket required: a growing and vocal group of psychiatric survivors argues that diagnosing mental disorders is just a way to stifle social dissent ... This Magazine
  8. ^ http://www.camh.net/News_events/Redeveloping_the_Queen_Street_site/index.html

External links

Coordinates: 43°38′40″N 79°25′03″W / 43.64455°N 79.41761°W / 43.64455; -79.41761

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