One of Canada’s Oldest Non-Profits
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is one of the oldest national, charitable organizations in Canada and the oldest national mental health charity. CMHA was founded in 1918 by Dr. Clarence M. Hincks, Dr. Charles K. Clarke, and Clifford W. Beers as the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene. The original goals of the organization centred around war recruits, mental examination of post-war immigrants, prevention, and support for adequate facilities and care for the treatment of mental illness.
Dr. Hincks became director of the association in 1924. His personal experience with depression and empathy for others with mental illness, coupled with his knowledge of medicine revolutionized the conditions and treatment of many mental health patients in Canada.
Disappointingly, but perhaps not surprisingly considering the context of the time, Dr. Hinck’s impact in Canada was not entirely positive. He was a known proponent of eugenics, a science rooted in the foundational belief of white supremacy.
Today, as we look back at our past and ahead to the future, CMHA must carve a new path that both honours the lived experience and knowledge of those who have experienced mental illness, and recognizes that a future of mental health for all requires us to consider all communities and identities. We must also face the history of our organization and of Canada, and work as allies to reconcile and heal the trauma of our past and present.
CMHA North & West Vancouver
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), North and West Vancouver branch is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. We provide a wide range of innovative and essential services and supports tailored to and in partnership with the communities of North and West Vancouver, Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky Corridor.
The North and West Vancouver Branch of CMHA has been providing services to the North Shore community since 1958 and we embrace people with mental health issues in all facets of our organization – as Board Directors, volunteers and employees. We dedicate ourselves to empowering, supporting and improving the quality of life of mental health consumers and increasing the overall wellness of our communities.