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, our group is winding down this initiative and choosing a new area of focus.


Our partners include:

  • Across Boundaries: An Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Evidence Exchange Network
  • Fred Victor
  • Ontario Peer Development Initiative
  • Wellesley Institute
  • Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre
  • 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

Seble Makonnen - CMHA, ON (smakonnen [at] ontario [dot] cmha [dot] ca)