Advisory Council for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigeneity, and Accessibility (EDIIA) in Clinical Care

Council Description and History

Equity is one of the four Strategic Directions of the Department's current Strategic Plan, and the Council's work reflects the Department's commitment to integration of principles of Equity in all that we do, from searches to education to care.

The Council for Equity and Inclusion was initially established in June 2020. 

The Council was renamed to the Advisory Council for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Clinical Care in July 2021.

Based on further thought and feedback, currently the Council is named the Advisory Council for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigeneity and Accessibility (EDIIA) in Clinical Care. We endeavour to elevate the importance of clinical, academic activities, and innovations related to ethno-racial minorities, indigenous people, LGBTQ+ people, women, and other marginalized populations in all areas of psychiatry. The Council will foster clinical and academic innovations related to equity and inclusion and maximize the impact of these activities across the Department, its affiliated hospitals, and the communities they serve.

The Council will foster clinical and academic innovations related to women, ethno-racial or racialized minorities, and other disadvantaged populations to allow for better integration of women’s mental health, cultural psychiatry, and health equity with education and research across all the academic divisions.

View the Council's complete Terms of Reference.

Announcements and Statements

Statement on Cuts to Healthcare Coverage for Uninsured People in Ontario - April 6, 2023

The Advisory Council for EDIIA in Clinical Care, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, has published a statement urging the provincial government to immediately reverse the cuts to healthcare coverage for uninsured people in Ontario and to make this essential program permanent. Read the Council’s full statement.

Status for All Open Letter - October 12, 2022

The Council signed the open letter put together by the Health for All Network - members of the health community across Canada who support full and permanent immigration status as a way to improve individual and community health.

Access to Healthcare for All: An Open Letter to the Ontario Provincial Government - July 28, 2022

The Healthcare for All Coalition has shared an open letter urging the Ontario government to implement a permanent program to ensure universal access to healthcare services, independent of insurance status. The Advisory Council for EDIIA in Clinical Care endorsed the letter as an organizational signatory and is encouraging all department members to read the letter and sign as individuals if they wish to.

See the open letter here.

Statement regarding the letter published and subsequently retracted  in The Canadian Medical Association Journal in December 2021 and Islamophobia - January 7, 2022

As the Advisory Council for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Clinical Care for the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, we are deeply concerned about the impact of a published and subsequently retracted letter in The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) that perpetuates Islamophobia and Islamophobic stereotypes about women who wear hijabs, dehumanizing them in the process. Read the full statement.

Temerty Faculty of Medicine Statement on Religious and Racial Intolerance - May 27, 2021

With the recent surge in violence in the Middle East, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine has seen an outpouring of anger and vitriol that is leaving members of our community feeling vulnerable and distressed. As a Faculty we must emphasize there is no place for dehumanizing language, stereotyping or hatred of the “other”. Read the Temerty Faculty of Medicine Statement on Religious and Racial Intolerance.

Statement on Religious and Racial Intolerance - Najma Ahmed, Philip Berger and Peeter Poldre - May 27, 2021

A group of senior faculty members of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine are offering to be available to meet with any learner, faculty or staff member who may feel unsafe at this time. They have released a statement regarding the conflict in the Middle East and the need for goodwill at our institution.

Statement Against Anti-Asian Racism and Violence from the Equity and Inclusion Council - March 31, 2021

The Equity and Inclusion Council, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, stands in solidarity with Asian community members against anti-Asian racism and discrimination. Read the full statement on anti-Asian racism and violence.

TAHSN Statement On Anti-Racism - October 9, 2020

Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) released a joint statement regarding the death of Joyce Echaquan and anti-racism in medicine. Read the TAHSN Statement On Anti-Racism.

Anti-Racism Announcement From Council Co-Chairs - June 5, 2020

In June 2020, the Co-Chairs of the Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Department of Psychiatry shared a message stating the Department's commitment to anti-racism and diversity and the need to overco,me racial disparities through advocacy, practice, education, and research. Read the full anti-racism announcement.

EDI in Clinical Care Departmental Survey

The Advisory Council for EDI in Clinical Care launched our survey in November 2021 to gather input on identifying gaps, priorities and existing resources in clinical care offered by services affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry.

Particularly, we asked for comment on the three top themes discussed by the Council last year: ensuring access to care for equity-seeking and underserved populations; service gaps for Black and Indigenous communities; measurement-based care from an EDI lens.

We received over 215 responses from faculty, residents and fellows in our department.

See our preliminary presentation to the Senior Advisory Committee here.

Engagement Activities

The Council advises on strategies to support EDIIA and engages in advocacy to improve access to care. Here are some of the engagement activities that have taken place:

  • Presentation and discussion at Baycrest Psychiatry Rounds (April 22, 2022)
  • Workshop "EDIIA from Academia to the Clinic: Primary Care Supporting access to Mental Health Services in the community" at the Diversity and Equity in Mental Health and Addictions Conference (May 13, 2022)
  • Presentation and discussion at Scarborough Health Network Journal Club (August 3, 2022)