Our Approach

CAMH HPRC's work is informed by the Evidence Exchange Network's (EENet) definition of evidence. This definition recognizes that many forms of knowledge, taken together, make up evidence. This includes research, professional expertise, the lived experience of people and families, as well as cultural and traditional knowledge.

In addition to internal expertise, CAMH HPRC looks to, and supports the use of, tools from the following organizations for guidance on evidence-informed decision-making processes:

National Collaborating Centre on Methods and Tools

Health Evidence

Public Health Ontario

Public Health Agency of Canada

Evidence on Interventions

Looking for evidence on mental health promotion and substance use programs for health promotion and public health settings? Here are two portals to help with your search:


Canadian Best Practices Portal

On the Portal, you can review this list of Mental Health and Wellness interventions or search for your own using a variety of filters.


Health Evidence

Search McMaster's Health Evidence portal to find evidence and gain access to 4,871 quality-rated systematic reviews evaluating the effectiveness of public health interventions. 

NEW! EENet Research Evidence on Mental Health and Substance Use", on the Health Evidence

EENet is a mental health and addictions knowledge exchange network, including researchers, clinicians, decision makers, service providers, system planners, policymakers, persons with lived experience, and families. As a result of a longstanding partnership between Health EvidenceTM and EENet, Health EvidenceTM is pleased to facilitate access to a set of 392 quality-rated systematic reviews evaluating the effectiveness of interventions in the areas of mental health and addictions, specific to health promotion, social determinants of health, coordination of health services and sectors, and other related content.

To access this set of reviews, check "EENet Research Evidence on Mental Health and Substance Use", on the Health EvidenceTM advanced search page, or click here for a direct link. Use the Health EvidenceTM advanced search features to further filter your results set by date, quality-rating, population, or setting. This set of reviews is supported by Evidence Exchange Network (EENet), which is funded by Health Canada's Drug Treatment Funding Program.  

Research Evidence

Looking for evidence to help you understand the health promotion and public health issues connected to mental health and substance use? Here are some data sources to get you started:


Compilation of Population Mental Health Related Data Sources

This resource from CAMH HPRC is a compilation of population health data sources with relevance to mental health. The data ranges from information on the social determinants of health to more illness focused data sources for Canada and Ontario.

CAMH Monitor Survey

The CAMH Monitor, first conducted in 1977, is the longest ongoing addiction and mental health survey of adults in Canada. The survey is designed to serve as the primary vehicle for monitoring substance use and mental health problems among Ontario adults. The CAMH Monitor provides epidemiological trends in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, problem use, public opinion regarding drug issues and policies, and mental health among Ontarians.

Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey

The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) is a population survey of Ontario students in grades 7 through 12. This self-administered, anonymous survey is conducted across the province every two years with the purpose of identifying epidemiological trends in student drug use, mental health, physical health, gambling, bullying, and other risk behaviours, as well as identifying risk and protective factors. The survey sample is considered representative of all students in grades 7-12 in publicly funded schools in Ontario (just under one million).

Drug and Alcohol Information Treatment System

The Drug and Alcohol Treatment Information System (DATIS) contributes to the understanding and enhancement of problem gambling and addiction treatment in the Province of Ontario through the on-going development and maintenance of a comprehensive, province-wide client information system.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has just launched its Positive Mental Health Surveillance Indicator Framework (PMHSIF) to help inform mental health promotion programs and policies across the life span. This framework provides information on positive mental health outcomes and its associated risk and protective factors.  It includes a core set of indicators grouped by outcomes and four key domains: individual, family, community and society level determinants. Using Infobase, the Agency's website toolkit, the PMHSIF data tool provides pan-Canadian estimates and data breakdown for adults aged 18 and older by key demographic and socioeconomic variables for each of the measures within the Framework. Frameworks for youth and child populations are under development.

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Canadian Best Practices Portal's Mental Health and Wellness Page

On this page, PHAC has compiled a range of resources that provide evidence on mental health promotion, mental illness and suicide prevention to inform mental health and wellness programs.

Evidence Exchange Network 

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) is a mental health and addictions knowledge exchange network that connects stakeholders across Ontario.The network promotes the use of research evidence in decision-making, develops targeted knowledge translation products and tools, and supports interactive exchanges.

Opening Eyes, Opening Minds: The Ontario Burden of Mental Illness and Addictions Report

This joint study by ICES and Public Health Ontario quantifies the burden of nine mental illnesses and addictions in terms of years of life lost due to premature mortality and years of healthy life lost due to reduced functioning.