History of the CMHA (Provincial Level – Ontario)

Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association has been a pioneer in providing services for people with mental illnesses and in educating Canadians about mental health issues.

CMHA operates on three different levels – nationally, provincially in all provinces and territories, and locally in 135 communities across Canada. The national, provincial, and local branch organizations of CMHA are all separately incorporated and independently registered charitable organizations. Each level of the organization has a distinct and well-defined role, but all work closely together toward a common purpose. The National Office works with the federal government to shape a pan-Canadian mental health policy.
Local CMHA branches provide direct service to people with mental illness to help them get the treatment and social supports they need to stay in their own homes and become health.

CMHA Ontario’s stakeholders are the approximately 2.4 million (1 in 5) Ontarians who will experience a mental health problem at some time in their life, along with their families, friends and co-workers. Their core business is sharing knowledge about mental illness and mental health with the public, with professionals and community leaders, with the media, and with decision-makers in government and business.

CMHA Ontario and the affiliated local branches work together to ensure that community-based mental health services are available, accessible, well-funded, and cost-effective. We raise awareness of mental health issues and influence key decision makers through advocacy and knowledge transfer. By publishing accurate, up-to-date information, and making it easily accessible, we empower consumers, family members, others to understand mental illness and to navigate the mental health system on their journey.