Community Advisory Panels (CAPs)

CAPs Terms of Reference

Mental Health and Addictions Community Advisory Panel


The Community Advisory Panel was created to provide advice to St. Michael’s Hospital, serving the needs of our community for over 100 years. In 1992 the Hospital reaffirmed its commitment to vulnerable populations by establishing the Inner City Health Program. The program’s goal and mandate is to collaborate with patients and community partners to improve the health of the population by addressing health inequities and the determinant of health in communities in South East Toronto and beyond. The Hospital has established a number of population specific advisory panels, including the Mental Health Community Advisory Panel, to ensure stakeholder input in the planning, delivery, education, evaluation of services and advise into relevant teaching and research initiatives.


To act as an advisory committee to St. Michael’s Mental Health Service for the purpose of promoting, advocating and working to ensure an accessible, compassionate, effective, progressive, patient centred recovery oriented health care continuum for those with mental health and/or addictions issues.


In partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital, consumers and community partners, the CAP will:

  • Identify consumers and community needs, resources and concerns related to mental health and/or addictions
  • Provide input on how the Mental Health Service and its programs do or can respond to these needs and concerns.
  • To provide input and participate in the development of mental health programs regarding the setting of goals and priorities related to the clinical, educational, and research needs.
  • Develop initiatives to continually improve effective sensitive respectful accessible hospital care for people with mental health and addictions issues.
  • Advocate in partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital and relevant community partners in support of improved services for our population.
  • Contribute to the enhancement of the knowledge and awareness of staff, physicians, relative to the need of our mental health population.
  • Promote community outreach and hospital in reach through the establishment of two way open communication channels between appropriate consumers, family groups, hospital departments and community agencies.
  • Offer expertise and education to hospital staff.
  • Engage in collaborative advocacy efforts surrounding mutually indentified issues of concern.

The Panel will:

  • The Panel will participate, renew, receive, review and provide feedback on regular reports from CRICH, Program Staff and physicians with respect to clinical, educational, and research initiatives concerning the mental health/addictions population
  • Establish working groups as needed, who will report to the CAP, to accomplish tasks relevant to the work of the Panel and in support of the Mental Health Service.
  • Participate in the recruitment process for key positions in the Mental Health Service.
  • Receive official and timely responses from the relevant staff regarding CAP related matters
  • Advise and give feedback to research and education projects conducted by the hospital
  • Meet bimonthly or at the call of the Chair



  • The Panel will have an informal, open door policy-meetings are open to community representatives and members who wish to attend.
  • The Panel will strive to be composed of two thirds consumers/community partners and one third hospital representations.
  • Membership will be maintained a number between 25-30
  • Membership will continue for a two-year term with the possibility of renewing depending on participation
  • Community members will include persons who live or work in the hospital catchment, or use the hospital services as consumers, families and community agencies and partners.
  • Consumer, community and hospital membership will be reviewed annually to ensure effective and appropriate representation to address the needs and concerns of the mental health and addictions population


  • The committee will be organized by Chair/Co-Chairs chosen from consumer and community agencies, where one of the Chair/Co-Chairs is a consumer.
  • Will be a community representative selected by the CAP and the Program Director
  • Will serve for a minimum of two years with the possibility of one renewal
  • Is responsible for setting agendas for meetings in consultation with CAP members.
  • Will ensure follow up of issues and concerns.
  • Will represent the CAP on the Community Advisory Committee of the Board of Directors as well as other relevant committees.


The hospital will provide secretarial support with respect to agenda distribution and minute taking. The hospital will cover meeting expenses for community members (not agency representatives), such as parking and child care.



An honorarium will be provided to community members.



The mental health service will offer support to CAP members to attend relevant conferences. Funding will be limited with inclusion criteria determined by the CAP Chair and Director MHS.

January 2013