New Queen West Village Family Health Team will meet community needs, provide
model for the province

TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - Toronto's Queen West neighbourhood and the province's health care system alike will benefit from the August 24 announcement that a Family Health Team (FHT) will be housed locally at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Like the FHTs currently providing care to more than 2.3 million Ontarians, the Queen West Village Family Health Team will bring together family physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, and other professionals in one setting to provide health care for the community, including seeing patients who do not have a family doctor.

This will be the first FHT formally linked to a mental health and addictions hospital, ensuring that a full range of mental illness and addiction treatment are woven into the mix of primary health care services being provided to the community.

"This is a landmark initiative for CAMH," said CAMH President and CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn today. "It will address the interface between mental and physical health care, and decrease the obstacles that prevent people from receiving care for mental illness and addiction because of fear and stigmatization."

"What makes these Family Health Teams so valuable is that each one is developed with the needs of the community in mind," says the Hon. Deb Matthews, minister of Health and Long-term Care, in her announcement of 30 new FHTs.

CAMH's FHT application was based on the proven need for improved health care services for all Queen West area residents, including current and former CAMH clients and others with mental health or addictions problems whose primary care needs are not being met. It was strongly supported by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration network (LHIN).

Province-wide benefit

CAMH's FHT is also very good news for the rest of Ontario, as CAMH intends that the Queen West Village FHT will become a model for building much-needed mental health and addictions services into a primary health care setting, province-wide, according to Dr. Zahn.

"Locating a FHT here emphasizes the 'urban village' vision of CAMH's Queen Street redevelopment project, strengthening the model of community-based care for everyone in a welcoming and inclusive environment," says Dr. Zahn.

"The Queen West Village FHT will break new ground in providing primary health care to the community of which CAMH is so much a part, and will increase access to care for mental illness and addictions, province-wide."

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.  CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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