In 1992, the Ontario government supported the founding of two Patient Councils in Ontario – at Queen Street Mental Health Centre, and at Kingston Psychiatric Hospital. Soon the government directed all of the Provincial Psychiatric Hospitals to set aside some of their funding to create and sustain their own Patient Councils. Each Council was intended to be a voice for the people on the receiving end of these hospital services. Each Council varied in how much independence it had and chose to use in relation to the hospital administration.
In Toronto, the Queen Street Patients Council was the voice for psychiatric consumers and survivors at Queen St. When Queen Street, the Clarke, The Addiction Research Foundation and Donwood were merged into the Centre for Addiction Mental Health, CAMH decided it needed a voice to represent the clients at all 4 sites.
In March of 2001, people with personal experience of the mental health or addiction systems gathered at CAMH. At this meeting, people chose the mission and purpose of their new organization, and elected representatives from amongst themselves to move this mission forward. In time, these representatives named the organization the Empowerment Council.
The Empowerment Council is a voice for clients/survivors and ex-clients of mental health and addiction services.
Statement of Purpose:
To conduct system wide advocacy on behalf of clients and ex-clients.