Racialized populations community of interest

The Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions community of interest is a provincial forum for knowledge exchange and collaborative knowledge creation focused on issues related to racialized populations and mental health and addictions. 

We began working together in 2012, with a project exploring how racialized individuals and communities in Ontario use hospital emergency departments for mental health and addictions related reasons.

In 2014, we explored socio-demographic data collection via the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN). We held a think tank in 2015 to explore the potential of the tool for advancing equity in the mental health system.  

Currently, the COI is focusing on criminal court diversion programs and practices, and examining how racialized populations are being served. This involves focusing on formal mental health diversion programs as well as informal diversion practices for racialized persons with mental health and addictions issues in the criminal justice system.


Our partners include:

  • Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto
  • Provincial System Support Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Evidence Exchange Network
  • Fred Victor
  • Ontario Peer Development Initiative
  • Wellesley Institute
  • Working for Change


The goals are to:

  • Strategically leverage existing or emerging evidence (including community-based, lived experience, peer-reviewed academic, and other sources of knowledge). 
  • Improve provincial, LHIN, and provider policy, planning, and practice related to racialized populations and mental health and addictions.


Project Contact: 

Lead organization

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

CoI lead

Project contact: Christine Conrad cconrad [at] ontario [dot] cmha [dot] ca

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