Programs and Tools

Many of our Stakeholders provide free tools and resources for mental health and addiction caregivers. Browse below and click the links to access.

You may also visit our Stakeholder Page to view a complete list of community organizations.

Ontario Caregiver 24/7 Support Helpline


Suicide Prevention Mobile App

Hope by CAMH is a free smartphone app that provides suicide prevention information, tools and crisis resources to support and guide individuals when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Read More 


Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health & Substance Use Support

During these stressful times, people can reach out for free mental health and substance use support at any time.  The process starts by using a self-assessment tool and a variety of resources are available to motivate and support the wellness journey for youth and adults. Read More


Mental Health and Addiction Provider Training Modules

The Change Foundation has released a second series of Caregivers as Partners provider training modules specifically for mental health and addiction.  Providers will gain a better understanding of the unique issues faced by caregivers who have a loved one with a mental illness and/or addiction and discover resources and tips to help improve their interactions with those caregivers. The three-part series focuses on 1) Nature of the illness & the impact on the family, 2) Burden of care 3) Hope & recovery.  Scroll down to Caregivers as Partners – Mental Health and Addiction. Set up an account and login.


Mental Illness Caregivers’ Association moves 20 year fundraiser to a virtual platform

Welcome to Mica’s Virtual Art in the Park. No One Walks Alone, We Walk With You.  Visit website


Grow a Strong Family

It takes courage, strength, resiliency and resources to keep our families strong in the face of addictions and mental illness.  Grow a Strong Family is a US website that provides education, support and resources for families uprooted by mental illness and helps them to rebuild and thrive.  Learn More


Cannabis Knowledge Exchange Hub

If you are looking for resources and evidence-based knowledge about cannabis, this link provides current and accurate information.  The resources include handouts, webinar recordings and podcasts, and the site will be updated as new information comes out.  Learn More


Ontario Caregivers and BounceBack

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We have the support you need

It is important that caregivers support their own mental and physical health to ensure they can provide meaningful care to others. Learn More



Patient and Family Engagement
in Primary Care:

Building effective patient and family advisory

councils in three Ontario communities

The Change Foundation Case Study Primary Care


PCORI – The Value of Engagement

Engagement in Research

In PCORI-funded research, patients and other healthcare stakeholders are equitable partners—as opposed to research subjects—who leverage their lived experience and expertise to influence research to be more patient centered, relevant, and useful. Their early and continued involvement throughout a study can lead to greater use and uptake of research results by patients and stakeholders within the healthcare community.

Continue Reading


Mental Health Commission of Canada 
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Engaging Caregivers in Mental Health and Addiction Services in Canada
Promising Practices Guide

In brief, this Promising Practices Guide:

  • summarizes the existing literature on what works to meaningfully engage caregivers across the continuum of health service delivery
  • highlights promising practices and potential barriers to implementation
  • informs stakeholders about any gaps in evidence
  • promotes the organizational or local community mapping of untapped or existing caregiver resources
  • profiles promising Canadian programs, services, and policy initiatives that promote caregiver engagement at the organizational level
  • supports mental health and addiction organizations’ efforts to promote the value of engaging caregivers and to improve caregivers’ experience with MHAs and the care of their loved ones.

Read the Guide


Patient Experience Journal, Volume 6, Issue 1 – 2019

Twelve principles to support caregiver engagement
in health care systems and health research

Family and friend caregivers (i.e., unpaid carers) play a critical role in meeting the needs of people across various ages and illness circumstances. Caregiver experiences and expertise, which are currently overlooked, should be considered in practice (such as designing and evaluating services) and when designing and conducting research. In order to improve the quality of health care we need to understand how best to meaningfully engage caregivers in research, policy and program development to fill this important gap. Our study aimed to determine principles to support caregiver engagement in practice and research. A pan Canadian meeting brought together 48 stakeholders from research, policy and practice and lived experience (caregivers) to share perspectives on caregiver engagement and co-design.

Read More

Older Adults and the Justice System: A navigational guidebook for caregivers and service providers 


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The Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC) has developed a guidebook to help caregivers and service providers of older adults and adults with age-related conditions navigate the justice system.

Older adults and the justice system became a priority for the HSJCC Network after its members, who work across the human services and justice sectors, began observing older adults interacting more with police, being involved in more courtrooms and being detained more frequently in correctional facilities across Ontario. 

Click here to review


Two new quality standards released today:    Anxiety Disorders and 
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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The most common mental health disorders are anxiety disorders (including obsessive–compulsive disorder).

Download this standard to learn what quality care looks like.
Read the recommendations for system adoption.
Share this guide with patients to help them ask informed questions about their care.

Click here to review



The model for the Framework is based upon evidence and best practices already happening throughout Ontario, and provides information on how to implement process changes that are intended to:

1) Improve health outcomes for individuals apprehended under the Mental Health Act;
2) Improve transitions between police officers and hospital workers; and
3) Improve coordination and collaboration among partners involved in the transition.

Visit the HSJCC website

Click below to review the framework: 

Improving Police-Hospital Transitions: A Framework for Ontario 

Tools for Developing Police-Hospital Transition Protocols in Ontario


Centre for Innovation in Campus

Mental Health

Helping Ontario’s colleges and universities enhance their capacity to support student mental health and well-being

Visit the website here 


Health Quality Ontario 



The quality standard addresses care for people of all ages transitioning (moving) between hospital and home after a hospital admission. The transition from hospital to home is commonly referred to as a “hospital discharge.”

This quality standard focuses on people who have been admitted as inpatients to any type of hospital, including complex continuing care facilities and rehabilitation hospitals.

Access the resources here


Spotlight on Ontario’s Caregivers Report 2019

The second annual Spotlight-on-ontario-caregivers-report builds on the inaugural 2018 report and for the first time demonstrates trends in the caregiver experience in Ontario. We are pleased to release this report in collaboration with the Ontario Caregiver Organization on the state of caregiving in Ontario.

The report, and the survey it is based on, looks closely at the role of the caregiver within the healthcare system, the type of caregiving tasks they are engaged in, the time and financial commitment required, and the impact of being a caregiver on their mental, physical and emotional state.

Click Here to read the full report




Youth engagement can occur along a continuum and across three levels.28
Youth engagement at the level of personal care and health decisions is focused on the relationship between youth and healthcare professionals and improving health outcomes for children, youth and families. Engagement within an organization is focused on improving programs and services or improving organizational policies and governance. Engagement at the system level is focused on improvements beyond a single organization.


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Using collaboration to take on
complex community health
issues and create social change

Working with a CAMH librarian, we explored the following academic databases: Pub Med; PsychINFO; scholar’s portal; Cochrane Systematic Reviews; and Google Scholar. We looked for articles published between 2007 and 2017. Key search terms included “community collaboration,” “inter-agency collaboration,” “inter-organizational collaboration,” “systems change,” and “systems transformation.” We gave priority to systematic reviews as well as well-known and respected articles on the
subject, as indicated by the number of times cited.

Rapid Review_Collaboration


 Transitions in Care
Consultation Summary May 2019

On June 15, 2018, twenty-four EPION members representing sixteen programs gathered to address the issue of what comes after Early Intervention and how to support our clients in the transition from EPI programs. The group represented programs located across the province, urban and rural, large and small. Participants included clinicians from a range of disciplines, an individual with lived experience and a family member. A reference list was provided to the group ahead of time as part of the process.


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The Alzheimer Society is Canada

A Guide for Implementing Person and Family-Centred Care Education across Health Care Organizations

In this toolkit, we have documented our planning, implementation and evaluation experiences and lessons learned to assist other health care organizations to implement and sustain PFCC initiatives and support a shift towards a more person and family centred approach to care.

Click here to review the document.


Connected Care Update

Announcement of Advisor on Public Health and Emergency Health Services Consultations

Click Here to read more.
Click Here to receive Connected Care Updates. 


Health Quality Ontario

Quality  Standards for Mental Health and Addictions

Welcome to the Health Quality Ontario library of quality standards.

Search below to find all of our quality standards at various stages of development.

Try the Tool


Mental Health Commission of Canada

Government Engagement ToolKit

This toolkit is intended to support individuals, groups, or organizations in their efforts to secure government support in developing and delivering mental health services. Even if there is an awareness of the potential benefits of engaging governments, making the connections necessary to successfully secure government support can be a daunting task. This kit provides the strategies, guides, and tools that can be used to ensure that groups are best equipped in this endeavour.

Individuals familiar with the resources herein will be better prepared to connect with the most appropriate government leaders, policy-makers, and support staff and communicate most effectively in terms that will provide the best arguments for governments to support their proposals.

Click Here to review the PDF Toolkit 


Families Matter: A Framework for Family Mental Health in British Columbia

Framework at a Glance The purposes of this framework are to:

1. Assist policy makers and service providers to understand the mental health needs of families experiencing mental health challenges, and to work with families to meet these needs;

2. Advocate for a collaborative, systemic approach to supporting families experiencing mental health challenges across all BC’s service systems;

3. Promote a shift in thinking and doing that acknowledges the profound relationship between families and mental health and prioritizes whole family approaches to research, policy and practice;

4. Enable families experiencing mental health challenges to improve their mental health by strengthening resilience and coping capacity.

The FORCE believes this approach will help to improve family mental health, prevent or minimize family mental health challenges, and reduce the impacts of mental illness on all family members.

Click Here to review the entire Framework 


Families for Addiction Recovery (FAR)

Parent-to-Parent Support
The Parent-To-Parent (P2P) program provides support for parents whose children (regardless of age) are struggling with addiction. Trained parent supporters with lived experience will lend an understanding ear and speak with you about strategies that can help both you and your child. All services are free and confidential.

Parent Support Group
Families for Addiction Recovery runs a Parent Support Group which provides a safe space where parents can discuss practical strategies, find support, and share resources and information that worked for them. This group is facilitated by a parent with lived experience, who also holds a B.A. in Psychology and an Addiction Care Worker diploma.

For more information about FAR and available services Click Here


Canadian Mental Health Association

 Family Outreach & Response Program (FOR)

Who are FOR services for? 

Any family member or friend, living in the city of Toronto, supporting someone experiencing a mental health issue, regardless of whether or not they have received a diagnosis or are connected with the mental health system.

Click Here to learn more about FOR Programs and Services.


Tax Credits & Benefits for Caregivers in Canada

At some point in your life, you may have to provide care and support for someone who becomes ill and finds it more challenging to take care of themselves. That person could be an older parent, a spouse/partner, a child, a friend or a neighbour. Being prepared may help you avoid financial challenges in the future. Click the links below to learn more about Government resources and tax credits available to Canadian caregivers.

Benefits for Caregivers

Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit

Medical Expenses Tax Credit

Disability Amount Tax Credit Transfer

Provincial/territorial tax credits

Government of Canada benefits finder search tool


Ontario Disability Support Program

ODSP offers two types of support:

  1. Income support – Financial assistance provided each month to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. Income support also includes benefits, like drug coverage and vision care, for clients and their eligible family members.
  2. Employment supports – Services and supports to help clients with disabilities find and keep a job, and advance their careers.

Learn More About ODSP Services 


Mental Health Commission of Canada

Supported Employment Programs of Canada 

In The Aspiring Workforce: Employment and Income for People with Serious Mental Illness, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) showed that recovery in mental health means living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life, even while experiencing ongoing symptoms. Based on this concept, the report called for the development of extensive employment support options in keeping with the recovery journey of the individual.

The Interactive Supported Employment Map is the result of an MHCC environmental scan that identified over 518 programs offering employment services for persons living with mental illness.

Click here to read further data and insights.


Epion’s Metabolic Monitoring Tools

The EPION Metabolic Monitoring Working Group developed three videos to highlight the suite of tools developed for metabolic monitoring.

These resources are designed for community and hospital-based psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, family physicians, and front-line mental health specialists working with individuals and families dealing with psychosis.

View the Monitoring Tools


The Change Foundation Toolkit

A toolkit designed to help organizations use co-design to improve the caregiver experience.  This toolkit includes tools, resources, reports and learnings which are updated on a regular basis.

To review the toolkit click here


Health Standards Ontario Client and Family Information Sheet

The New Virtual Health Standard

This standard provides guidelines of excellence for organizations participating in virtual health services to improve the safety, quality and effectiveness of virtual health services.

To read this Information Sheet


Crisis Service Canada

Crisis Services Canada (CSC) evolved out of the Canadian Distress Line Network (CDLN) – a national network of existing distress, crisis and suicide prevention line services that has been engaging members since 2002.In recent years, the network has formalized its structure, and now focuses on strengthening regional service delivery and ensuring gaps in service nationwide are addressed.


Smart Healthcare is Here

Take control of your health

Ontarian’s are using virtual tools to access their doctors and get the care they need. You get convenient, timely, and optimal care, with less time spent traveling and away from work. Free to patients in Ontario.

For more information click here


 Living with Schizophrenia

If you or a loved one is at least 18 years of age you can use this list of recommendations to help you and your health care professionals develop a care plan that works for you. You should use this information to become aware of what high- quality care looks like and to ask informed questions about your care. Care plans can be very different for each person, so it is important to work closely with your health care professionals.

Patients Reference Guide Schizophrenia Care for Adults in Hospitals


Families for Addiction Recovery (FAR)

Presentation at the Recovery Capital Conference in September on Protecting Addicted Youth

Presentation links:

    • Abstract (which contains linked resources/references)

The three takeaways are the need for:

    • treatment on demand
    • decriminalization and regulation of drugs
    • involuntary treatment as a tool in the toolbox




Toolkit for e-Mental Health Implementation

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is pleased to launch the Toolkit for e-Mental Health Implementation, a joint effort of the Centre for Research in Family Health, IWK Health Centre and the MHCC, in consultation with stakeholders. It is a resource for mental health professionals to implement e-mental health innovations, such as telehealth, mental health apps, messaging-based services, and any internet-based mental health technology in clinical practice.

Click here for additional information


ISAC Report

The ISAC Report explains why many people with mental health conditions do not seek treatment and, if they do, are mainly managed by primary care health care providers (such as family doctors) who are trained to treat a broad range of mental health conditions.

The report notes, for example, that the absence of a specialist referral does not reflect the severity of a patient’s mental health condition.  It also discusses why treatment history can be an unreliable predictor of the severity of a person’s disability.

Click here to view the ISAC Report


CAMH’s New Online Guides & Publications Library

Finding resources on an array of mental health topics just got easier with CAMH’s new online Guides & Publications library.

Here are three tips to help you get started on finding the resources you need:

  1. Looking for resources related to children and youth? Seniors? Filter your results by focus.
  2. Interested in learning more about mood and personality disorders? You can narrow your results by subject.
  3. Looking for a digital tool or app? Filter your results by document type.


Moving Forward Together

A Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Meeting the needs of Family Caregivers of People Living with Mental Health and Addiction Problems or Illnesses.

Read the Document Here


A Guide to Depression Treatment for Patients and Family Members

MDAO recruited and led a group of patients and family members to develop the guide, supported by content experts in KT, patient advocacy, patient-oriented research, and psychiatry.

The “Patient and Family Guide to Depression Treatment was released on the MDAO website free of charge in March 2018 and is being actively disseminated, with evaluation of its impact underway.


The Rights of The Family Caregiver

The Rights of the Family Caregiver poster has been developed by the EMBRACE project for the Cornwall Hospital’s Community Addiction and Mental Health Services. 

To view the poster in English Click Here  French Click Here


Supporting a Family Member with Schizophrenia

Practical Strategies for Daily Living

Sean Kidd, Dawn I. Velligan, Natalie J. Maples
For details Click Here


It’s Not about Us: The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada

If you or a loved one have been affected by addiction and mental health issues, and have tried to or wanted to advocate for change in the system, this book will help you know how to do that.   

For more information Click Here


The Mentally Ill: How They Became Enmeshed in the Criminal Justice System and How We Might Get Them Out

Prepared by:

The Hon. Mr. Justice Richard D. Schneider
For the Research and Statistics Division
Dept. of Justice Canada March 2015

To access this resource  CLICK HERE


The Importance of Empathy

We all are familiar with the benefits of feeling empathy, both for ourselves and for those who we are connecting with.  This VIDEO is a great reminder why empathy is fundamental to our well being and provides an easy to understand teaching tool about the importance of empathy.


Centre of Excellence of Partnership with Patients and Public

A helpful resource for evidence-based engagement practices to assist stakeholders to better understand the key conditions for success needed for such engagement initiatives involving patient and families.

Click Here


Family Caregiver Community of Interest

A repository of articles and research on Family Caregiver

View Website


Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care

A Checklist for Attitudes About Patients and Families as Advisers Medical