Mission Statement:

The Empowerment Council is a voice for clients/survivors and ex-clients of mental health and addiction services, primarily of CAMH.

Statement of Purpose:

To conduct system wide advocacy on behalf of clients and ex-clients.

From the CAMH/EC Memorandum of Understanding: "CAMH and the Empowerment Council acknowledge the key role played by clients in the ability of CAMH to deliver client centred care."

Terms of Reference

The Organization

The Empowerment Council takes its direction from clients and is funded by CAMH. The EC is an independent incorporated organization consisting entirely of people who have received mental health or/and addiction services. The EC client membership elects a Board of 10 people, two from each of the four CAMH sites, and two from the community. The EC staff consists of a full-time Coordinator and two half time Outreach workers. At this time there is also an additional half time position dedicated to teaching the CAMH Bill of Client Rights.

The Empowerment Council Agenda:

Within the limits of the resources of the organization.


The Empowerment Council will:

  • Advocate on a systemic level (e.g. to C.A.M.H., various levels of government, in the judicial system) on behalf of addiction and mental health clients. The EC will place clients self identified needs first, and communicate through various means for greatest effectiveness.
  • Consolidate the client voice through consultations, surveys, election of representatives

Please note that while it is helpful to know of individual advocacy issues to inform the EC voice on clients' behalf, the Empowerment Council does not conduct individual advocacy - for this we refer people to the Patient Advocate Office or the Client Relations Coordinator


The Empowerment Council will:

  • Ensure the representation of the client perspective at CAMH through significant participation on relevant committees, work groups, and other decision-making and accountability structures.
  • Communicate with clients on committees, and evaluate the influence of client involvement on CAMH policies and practices

Outreach and Community Development

The Empowerment Council will:

  • Conduct outreach and community development with mental health and addiction clients of CAMH through site visits, meetings, consultations, events, etc.

Education and Information Sharing

The Empowerment Council will:

  • Ensure client access to information, and educate clients in regard to choices, rights, self-advocacy, critical thinking, and other critical aspects of self-empowerment.
  • Educate, sensitize, and provide training to mental health professionals, addiction workers, and other members of the community.

EC Accomplishments over First 10 Years