Thursday, October 29, 2009


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto has published in this morning's papers an appointment announcement.

Dr. Catherine Zahn is the new CAMH President and CEO.

I don't know Dr. Zahn and I am sure she is a smart and accomplished and lovely person.

The CAMH is another cookie altogether.

It is a monolith formed some years back by the amalgamation of the Clarke Institute and the Addiction Research Foundation.

Here is how they describe themselves:

"Canada's leading mental health and addiction teaching hospita and research centre...committed to transforming lives..."

I cannot speak about their track record with people suffering from mental problems.

But I can tell you loud and clear that I know of NOT ONE addict who has walked away from CAMH as a clean and sober citizen.

Now, if one tenth of this vulnerable institution's multi-multi-multi-million dollar budget was passed on to the handful of real treatment programs scattered across the Canadian wilderness, we might be doing something useful.

But this is the way of the world, isn't it?

Governments, politicians, bureaucrats, doctors build big bold buildings and put stuff in them. They huff and puff and congratulate themselves silly.

Meanwhile on the other side of town, real people with real understanding of the issues work under strained conditions begging always for money.

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