6. Empowering Yourself through Support and Self-Care



The resources listed below outline supports available for families and friends of people with substance use problems.

Access CAMH

A telephone-based service providing information and resources for individuals and their families on mental illness, addiction and concurrent disorders. Includes information about how families can access CAMH services for a family member or friend, as well as information about services available in the community (including crisis centres). Also connects families to support groups and educational sessions co-ordinated by CAMH.

Contact Access CAMH at 416 535-8501 (press 2) or 1 800 463-6273.


Family Psychoeducation Series

Offers group information sessions for families and friends of individuals with mental illness. Includes topics such as navigating the health care system, communication, strategies and problem and crisis management.

Contact Access CAMH at 416 535-8501 (press 2) or 1 800 463-6273.

Family Addiction Service

Provides support, education and consultation for those concerned about a family member’s or friend’s substance use. The person of concern does not have to be a CAMH client/patient. Monthly Family Education Session: understand addiction, concurrent disorders, motivation and change. Includes information on coping strategies for family members and treatment options.

Contact Access CAMH at 416 535-8501 (press 2) or 1 800 463-6273.

Problem Gambling and Technology Use Treatment Service

Offers support groups for parents and caregivers concerned about excessive gaming and Internet use among youth aged 13–25 years. Includes individual support for families and friends of those with gaming, Internet and gambling addiction.

Contact Access CAMH at 416 535-8501 (press 2) or 1 800 463-6273.

Youth Concurrent Education Night for Families and Friends

Provides information sessions on mental health, addictions, harm reduction, self-care and setting limits and gaming/Internet use. Offered by the Youth Addiction and Concurrent Disorders Service.

Contact Access CAMH at 416 535-8501 (press 2) or 1 800 463-6273.

Empowerment Council

Offers a voice for the clients of CAMH.

Jennifer Chambers, Co-ordinator

416 535-8501 (extension 34022)

Office of Family Engagement

Includes printed resources on mental health and addiction, a lending library, access to a computer and volunteers who can answer questions and help family members and friends get connected with other supports.

100 Stokes Street (Bell Gateway Building), ground floor, room 1314

416 535-8501 ext. 33202

E-mail: familyengagement@camh.ca


Provides 24/7 access to health services information.

Mental Health Helpline: 1 866 531-2600

Drug and Alcohol Helpline: 1 800 565-8603

Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline: 1 888 230-3505



Family Outreach and Response Program

Offers recovery-oriented mental health support services to individuals 16 years of age and older and their families and friends. Now affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

416 539-9449

E-mail: connect@fmhr.org



Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere (FAME)

Provides one-on-one support, telephone support and support groups for individuals and families with a loved one with a mental health concern.

FAMEkids offers support to children aged 7–12 years and youth aged 13–17 years who have a loved one with a mental health concern.

In partnership with CMHA Peel, offers a six-week educational program for individuals concerned about a loved one’s mental illness and/or addiction.

In partnership with CAMH First Assessment Clinical Team, offers family support for first episode psychosis.

416 207-5032



Families for Addiction Recovery (FAR)

Families for Addiction Recovery offers parent-to-parent support for families impacted by addiction, a voice for families to influence government policy, and educates community groups, health care providers and law enforcement about addiction, health laws and drug policies.

855 377-6677



Family Navigation Project

Provides expert navigation of the mental health and addictions service system for youth aged 13–26 with serious mental health and/or addictions problems, and for their families, within the GTA.

1 800 380-9FNP (1 800 380-9367)

E-mail: familynavigation@sunnybrook.ca


Family Service Toronto

Assists families and individuals who face a wide variety of challenges through counselling, community development, advocacy and public education programs.

416 595-9230 or 416 595-9618



Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Offers resources and support groups. CMHA branches are available across Canada.

416 789-7954



Bereaved Families of Ontario – Toronto

Offers a range of individual and group support programs to discuss experiences and learn about grief. Includes programs for preschoolers (3–5 years), children (6–12 years), adolescents (13–17 years), young adults (18–30 years), parents, parents of infants and grandparents.

416 440-0290



Halton ADAPT (Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment, Prevention and Treatment Services)

Offers individual and group counselling/support, including workshops and education events, to those who are affected by someone else’s drinking, drug use, or problem gambling. The person they are concerned about does not have to be an ADAPT client for a family member(s) to access services.

Opioid Friends and Family Group: offered three times per year from 6:30–8:00 p.m. at Oakville office location. Call to register at 1 855 211-0898.

905 639-6537 ext. 0 (long distance, call 905 693-4250, ext. 0; also accepts collect calls)



Telehealth Ontario

Offers a 24/7, free, confidential phone service providing access to a registered nurse for health advice and general information.

1 866 797-0000


211 Toronto

Provides information about social services in Toronto including child care, community legal services, home support, low-income housing, immigration and employment.

Contact: 211


CAMH Emergency/Crisis Service

Provides 24–hour/ 7 days per week emergency psychiatric assessment and treatment plans.

1051 Queen Street West, ground floor

Contact: in person only

* You can also visit your nearest hospital emergency department.


Gerstein Crisis Centre

Provides 24-hour non-medical crisis intervention for acute psychosocial crises, including mental health and addiction.

Admin line: 416 929-0149

Crisis line: 416 929-5200

E-mail: admin@gersteincentre.org



Distress Centres of Toronto

Offers 24-hour phone service for people in distress. Available in 151 languages through interpreter service.

General Information: 416 598-0166

Crisis phone: 416 408-HELP (416 408-4357)

TTY service for the hearing impaired: 416 408-0007

E-mail: Info@TorontoDistressCentre.com


Empowering Families Affected by Substance Use © , CAMH.