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COVID-19 Update - Important Information


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Community Mental Health

Privacy & Policies

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Community Mental Health

Your Rights and Responsibilities

While participating in service provided by SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (SickKids CCMH) you have the right to:

  • be informed of your rights and to know and understand your rights
  • be treated with respect & dignity, no matter your race, gender, culture, religion, abilities or sexual orientation
  • be involved in decisions made about the services that you receive and to express your thoughts and feelings
  • receive service that respects your culture, is consistent with your needs, is coordinated with other services you have received or are receiving, and builds on your strengths and resources
  • refuse a proposed service, and to be made aware of possible alternatives
  • have all personal information that you share kept confidential in accordance with the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)
  • have access to the client record/file maintained about your service in accordance with PHIPA
  • ask for correction to information in the client record/file, or to file a notice of disagreement which will be placed in the client record/file in accordance with PHIPA
  • have any disagreement or complaint you have regarding your service, responded to in a respectful and timely manner

If you are a youth, you have the right to make decisions about yourself and the services you receive.

All our clients have a responsibility to:

  • treat others with respect and dignity
  • be respectful of the privacy of others, including their right to confidentiality
  • participate actively, openly and honestly in the assessment, service planning and service review process
  • inform SickKids CCMH staff of information that is important and relevant to your service
  • attend scheduled appointments and meetings and notify SickKids CCMH, according to cancellation policies, if you are unable to attend/participate
  • respect the rules of the Centre
  • refrain from the use of alcohol and non-prescription drugs prior to participating in SickKids CCMH services

Your Privacy and Health Information

SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (SickKids CCMH) is committed to protecting the privacy of our clients. This is done through the strict adherence to our privacy policy and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) to keep your health information private and secure.

You have the right to know how SickKids CCMH may use and share your health information and how you can access it. SickKids CCMH may collect, use and share your health information for the following reasons:

  • to provide you with health care
  • to communicate with or consult with other health-care providers
  • for payment-related purposes (including OHIP, and others);
  • to plan, manage and administer programs and services
  • for research (with Research Ethics Board approval);
  • for teaching;
  • for statistical and other kinds of reporting obligations; and
  • for other purposes as permitted or required by law.

To learn more about how we protect the privacy of your information or to review our detailed privacy policy, please contact the SickKids CCMH Privacy Officer at

Health record inquiries

The health records department is responsible for maintaining the health records of both current and former clients of the centre. It oversees the collection, storage, retention and access to client’s Personal Health Information (PHI).

How to obtain a copy of your record

PHIPA governs the collection, use, and disclosure of PHI in Ontario. This Act gives clients the right to access and disclose their personal information. A written request to the health records department is required to release any information contained in your health record.

If you detect an error in your record, you have the right to request a correction. You can do this by sending a written request to the health records department by:

Fax: 416-373-2003
SickKids CCMH
Health Records Department
440 Jarvis St.
Toronto, ON M4Y 2H4

For all other inquiries or further questions, you can contact us by phone at 416-924-1164 ext. 8725. You have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario if you think we have violated your privacy rights. The Commissioner can be reached by:

Phone: 416-326-3948
Fax: 416-325-9195
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
1400-2 Bloor St. E.
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8

Contact us

If you need more information or have a concern about privacy, call  416-924-1164 ext. 8725 or e-mail us at You may also send a fax to 416-373-2003 or write to: Health Records Department, 440 Jarvis St. Toronto, ON  M4Y 2H4

Hours of operation

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays

Requesting your health information

A request can be made by completing the Consent to disclose Personal Health Information form.

Ensure the consent is:

Complete: All fields are filled out and information being requested is clearly stated.

Dated: Consent is valid for 90 days from the date the consent was signed.

Signed:  Consent will be accepted from a parent, guardian or substitute decision-maker (SDM) if the client is deemed incapable of consenting. The SDM must be a person authorized by PHIPA to consent on behalf of the individual, to disclose Personal Health Information (PHI) about the individual.

A client may withdraw consent at any time by notifying the health records department in writing indicating that they no longer consent to the disclosure of PHI.

Witnessed: Where possible consent may contain a signature from a witness, including the date of witness. A witness should ideally be a neutral third party. This can be the service provider or legal representation.

Note: You may be asked to provide us with additional documentation to provide proof of identity and/or legal signing authority such as a copy of photo ID with your signature, proof of power of attorney or custody, and/or death certificate.

How to submit your consent
By mail:
Attn: Health Records Department
SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health
440 Jarvis St.
Toronto, ON M4Y 2H4

By fax: 416-373-2003

In person: At reception desk

What types of information can I request?

Assessment notes: Most recent assessments will be provided, unless otherwise specified.

Contact notes: Specify date or range of dates of the note(s).

Closing/discharge summary: Summarizing report done at the end of a treatment program.

Transfer of record: Copy of the complete health record. Please note this will not include raw data as the results of all raw data collected are summarized in the assessment reports.

Other: Specify type of request if different from that which is listed on the consent form.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is a health record?

The health record consists of all information collected by a health-care organization pertaining to patient/client care. This includes both personal information (i.e. name, gender, DOB, address) and Personal Health Information (such as health card number, medical history and diagnosis). Health records are the property of SickKids CCMH.

What is Personal Health Information (PHI)?

PHI is “identifying information” collected about an individual in oral or recorded form. It includes information such as:

  • your physical or mental health, including family history;
  • the health-care services you receive;
  • your health-care number; and
  • other information relating to your health and health-care history.

What is the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)?

PHIPA is Ontario’s health-specific privacy legislation. PHIPA governs the way in which PHI may be collected, used and disclosed within the health-care system. It also regulates individuals and organizations that receive PHI from health-care professionals and confirms your right to access your own PHI. SickKids CCMH and all its employees, board members, volunteers, students, contractors and vendors are required to follow PHIPA. SickKids CCMH is committed to remaining up-to-date with amendments to privacy legislation and best practices in Ontario.

Can my Personal Health Information (PHI) be sent via email?

Due to the sensitive nature of PHI and to protect your privacy, we do not release PHI by email.

I have requested access to my health record. When can I expect my request to be completed?

In accordance with PHIPA, the Health Records department will process your request within 30 days. If your request is urgent, please specify on the consent form and we will do our best to accommodate. It is possible in some circumstances that the department may require more than 30 days to complete a request. In this instance, you will be given written notice for a 30-day extension.

Can I request access to my child’s health record without their consent?

A parent, guardian or SDM may request access to their child’s health record provided they are under 12 years of age and/or incapable of providing consent. Proof of incapability and/or guardianship status may be required. Please request your health information from the Health Records department.

What records will SickKids CCMH have on file?

Only records regarding treatment and records provided to SickKids CCMH to support care are stored. To inquire about whether or not SickKids CCMH has your health record, please request your health information from the Health Records department.

What happens if I am inquiring about records of a deceased patient?

Please request your health information from the Health Records department. Proof of your legal signing authority is required.

What is the “Circle of Care”?

The term “Circle of Care” is commonly used to describe the ability of health-care providers to collect, use or disclose PHI for the purpose of providing health care, on the basis of implied consent. This means that SickKids CCMH may be allowed to share your PHI with another health-care provider that is currently participating in your care, if it is done for the purpose of maintaining or improving the quality of care you receive.

To whom does SickKids CCMH disclose Personal Health Information?

SickKids CCMH may disclose your PHI with:

  • other health-care providers involved in your Circle of Care, provided you haven’t withdrawn your consent;
  • any third party, including family members, provided that you have consented;
  • a relative, friend or potential substitute decision-maker without consent, if you are injured, incapacitated, ill or unable to give consent personally, or where it is reasonably necessary to provide you with health care and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
  • public and law enforcement authorities as permitted and required by law (for example, to report communicable diseases or by warrant or subpoena); and
  • the officer in charge of a psychiatric facility, with or without consent, for purposes of examining, assessing, observing or detaining individuals under the Mental Health Act.

Can I withdraw my consent for disclosure of my Personal Health Information?

Patients/clients are permitted to withdraw consent at any time by notifying the Health Records department in writing. Withdrawal will not apply to that which was released prior to receiving the withdrawal request.

How can I request correction to information contained in my record?

If you believe that your health record contains inaccurate information or is incomplete, it is your right under the Ontario’s Health Privacy law – PHIPA – to request corrections to your health record. This can be done by submitting a request in writing to the Health Records department.

How do I make a complaint if I feel my rights have been violated?

We encourage you to inform us if you feel we are mishandling your PHI. You can do this by:

Phone: 416-924-1164 ext. 8725
Fax: 416-373-2003
SickKids CCMH
Health Records Department
440 Jarvis St.
Toronto, ON  M4Y 2H4

You have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if you think we have violated your rights pertaining to your PHI. The Commissioner can be reached by:

Phone: 416-326-3948
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
1400-2 Bloor St. E.
Toronto, ON  M4W 1A8

Your Feedback

At SickKids CCMH, we believe that a positive care experience happens through good communication, mutual respect, and true partnership between clients, families, caregivers, and staff.

We care about your experience and welcome you to share your concerns, comments, suggestions, or compliments.

Constructive feedback is welcome at any level of the organization via or in writing to the Clinical Director, at either of our sites.

Process for raising a concern

Step 1: Where possible, we recommend first speaking with SickKids CCMH staff. Many concerns can be resolved at the time they arise through regular discussion with your service provider.

Step 2: If the issue remains unresolved, the matter should be escalated to the service manager responsible for the clinical area involved. This information can be provided by your service provider, the receptionist at each site or by calling 416-924-1164.

Step 3: If Step 2 does not allow for a satisfactory resolution, a client, family member or concerned individual can file a written concern by email ( or through mail to either of our sites.

Step 4: The Senior Management, Quality, Analytics, Risk & Health Information will acknowledge the receipt of the concern to the individual who shared it within 10 days and begin the investigation process as required. This may require the manager to meet directly with the individual sharing the concern to collect further information. Where the investigation is ongoing, an update will be provided after 30 days.