Mental health inequities have widened.
Thrive Toronto brings together organizations from across sectors to take action that improves the mental wellness and psychological health of Torontonians. Our mission is to transform Toronto into a city where everyone can thrive.
A mental health plan for our city
Thrive Toronto released the city’s first multi-sector mental health plan focused on mental wellness and psychological health in fall 2023. The plan focuses on five initial actions that Thrive Toronto partners are uniquely able to do, and where Thrive Toronto can add value to existing initiatives.
Thrive Toronto will create a report card on mental wellness, psychological health and the factors that promote mental health to highlight needs and promote actions that can be taken to address them.
Climate change and mental health strategy
Thrive Toronto will build momentum to decrease the impact of climate change on mental health by convening key players in climate change and facilitating the development of a Toronto climate change and mental health strategy.
Supportive Housing Growth Plan
Thrive Toronto will help decrease the impacts of the social environment on health by focusing on housing and supporting the implementation of actions from the Supportive Housing Growth Plan.
Workplace mental health
Thrive Toronto will improve workplace mental health by working with employers and extended health benefits providers (EHBs) to create a resource on what constitutes EHBs that effectively address mental wellness.
Thrive Toronto will build capacity for individuals, communities and organizations to improve mental wellness and psychological health by creating a learning centre with tools and training that increases mental health literacy, improves mental health skills and promote positive mental health.
Toronto is a vibrant, diverse and growing city.
The standard of living is exceptional for the wealthy, but at least 50% of households do not have sufficient income to live a healthy life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health problems, while shining a light on the inequities in access to services and supports in Toronto. There have been increased rates of some adult mental illnesses, but this has been dwarfed by decreases in mental wellness, increased rates of staff burnout, a substance use and overdose crisis and significant increases in psychological issues among children and youth.
The focus on the minority of people who have a mental illness is understandable, but it is a mistake to neglect the mental wellness and psychological health needs of the majority.
There is an urgent need to improve mental wellness and psychological health in Toronto by addressing past failures to adequately deal with their social drivers such as income inequality, financial insecurity, poverty, poor working conditions, the housing crisis, racism and systemic anti-Black racism.
Hundreds of organizations are working to advance the well-being of residents in Toronto. Yet barriers persist.
Toronto’s mental health system remains disjointed and less than what the sum of its parts could be.
We can have a full response to Toronto’s mental health emergency by co-ordinating our efforts, focusing on the social determinants of health, and balancing our current focus on mental illness with a focus on mental wellness and psychological health.
The Thrive Toronto Mental Health Plan can help us thrive, make our city a better and more resilient place in which to live and work, improve the economy, and decrease rates of mental illness and the need for mental illness services.
There is much to do, and it will take a multi-year, multi-sector approach.
Thrive Toronto Advisory Committee
The Thrive Toronto Advisory Committee is made up of senior leaders from organizations in Toronto that represent:
- Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
- Strides Toronto
- Family Services Toronto
- United Way Greater Toronto
- Wellesley Institute
- YMCA of Greater Toronto
- Social Development, Finance and Administration at the City of Toronto
- Toronto Public Health
- Ontario Health Toronto