mental health services policy

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s policies have always protected the privacy of our clients. Our privacy policy is in line with Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act. This law controls the way personal health information can be collected, used, and disclosed.

Your rights as a CMHA client

You have the right to know:

You have the right to refuse to give us information. You have the right to refuse to let us share your information with others, unless the law requires us to do so. This could happen, for example, if you or another person were in danger.

You have the right to ask to see the information we have about you on file. You can correct the information if needed.

In everything we do, we try to create a sense of hope about the future,and we try to support you to build a positive life in your community.

Clients and families have the RESPONSIBILITY to:

  • Be an active participant in your recovery process
  • Treat workers with respect and courtesy
  • Tell us if it is unsafe for you to visit us or for us to visit you
  • Take responsibility for the decisions you make
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand something
  • Provide information to us about changes in your life as needed
  • Tell us if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment whenever you can
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Clients and families have the RIGHT to:

  • Be respected
  • Be free from discrimination
  • Receive a service that’s based on the Recovery and Harm Reduction Models
  • Privacy and expectation of confidentiality
  • Receive service in the language of your choice
  • Speak and be heard
  • Be free from violence
  • Equal opportunity
  • Be informed
  • Quality services
  • Access your health record information

How we use your personal health information

Unless you tell us not to, we use the information you give us to provide care for you and aid your recovery. We also use it for administration, teaching, research, statistics, and complying with legal requirements.

We share your information with professionals who are within your Circle of care. These are people who need the information so that they can care for you. They include:

  • health care professionals
  • pharmacies
  • laboratories
  • ambulance service
  • nursing homes
  • Community Care Access Centres
  • home service and healthcare providers.

If you are involved in more than one CMHA program, your health information can be accessed by the different programs, unless you tell us not to share it. CMHA raises money through fundraising. We might use your name and address to contact you and ask for a donation. We will not do this if you tell us not to.

How to exercise your rights

If you would like to withdraw your consent or restrict the way that we gather, use, or share your personal health information, please talk to your program worker.

If you have a complaint about how we handle your personal information, you have the right to talk to our Privacy Officers. You can also complain to the Information & Privacy Commission.

Contacting our Privacy Officers

CMHA’s Privacy Officers are Neil Howard and Andrea Sinclair. Contact them for more information about our policies, to request access to your personal health information, or to make a complaint.