Truly Groundbreaking: Hundreds gather to usher in a new era in the treatment of mental illness and addiction

 

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health(CAMH) President and CEO Dr. Paul Garfinkel describes the new development in Toronto’s Queens West neighbourhood:

“As we break ground today, we are also breaking our isolation. Within the next 15 months, a new street will connect CAMH to Toronto’s roads, opening our property to the lifeblood of our great city and joining our site with the heart of our local community,” said CAMH President and CEO Dr. Paul Garfinkel today. “To be a part of building our city – for the needs of today and for the future – is extremely important to us and we look forward to becoming a revitalized and thriving urban village welcoming to all.”

Read the full news realease below…

TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW/ – Hundreds, including Health Minister George
Smitherman and Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan,
gathered today at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to break
ground on the first phase of one of the largest and most exciting
redevelopment projects in Canada: replacing an out-of-date mental health
institution with a mixed-use urban village.
In this historic moment, clients, staff, families, neighbours, partners
and volunteers took part in a unique mass groundbreaking ceremony, kicked off
with Canadian entertainer Taborah Johnson signing the national anthem.
What began in the 1850s as a “lunatic asylum” is about to be transformed
into a health centre unlike any other in the world, based on a new integrated
model of care that will improve the quality of life for people with mental
illness and addictions. This redevelopment will change CAMH’s sequestered
27-acre Queen West site from a stigmatized mental health facility into a
vibrant neighbourhood – with new sidewalks, shops, restaurants, parks and
businesses alongside innovative new CAMH facilities.
“As we break ground today, we are also breaking our isolation. Within the
next 15 months, a new street will connect CAMH to Toronto’s roads, opening our
property to the lifeblood of our great city and joining our site with the
heart of our local community,” said CAMH President and CEO Dr. Paul Garfinkel
today. “To be a part of building our city – for the needs of today and for the
future – is extremely important to us and we look forward to becoming a
revitalized and thriving urban village welcoming to all.”
CAMH is building a neighbourhood centred on care, where clients will feel
empowered and not stigmatized by their environment. This is a sentiment echoed
by Stephen Crawford, a client in CAMH’s Mood and Anxiety Program. “I look
forward to a time when people will begin to see those with mental illness
differently through more face-to-face interaction, and come to recognize that
mental illness is no different than any other medical condition,” he said in a
speech earlier today. “No one places blame on a person with a low functioning
kidney, liver, or heart. The brain is also an organ – and it too can
malfunction, resulting in mental illness. That is no one’s fault. I think that
if people became aware of the great work accomplished at this hospital, they
would be proud to have it in their community.”
One out of every five Canadians will experience mental illness or
addiction, leading to billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.
CAMH’s bold vision will transform the face of addiction and mental illness
while contributing to the revitalization of the unique Queen West community.
Phase 1A of CAMH’s redevelopment includes three ‘Alternate Milieu’ client
care facilities, each with 24 private, home-like bedrooms plus communal living
and dining rooms, kitchens and healing gardens. This $35 million phase also
includes the creation of one four-storey out-patient and administrative
building, a new public park on Queen Street West at Fennings Street,
attractive streetscaping and landscape design, and a restoration of the
historic Victorian wall on the west side of the site.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is one of the largest
addiction and mental health organizations in North America and Canada’s
leading mental health and addiction teaching hospital. CAMH is a Pan American
Health Organization and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, and is
fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. CAMH combines clinical care,
research, policy, education and health promotion to improve the lives of
people impacted by mental health and addiction issues.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
members of the media/

For further information: Michael Torres, Media Relations Coordinator,
CAMH at (416) 595-6015

 

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