Chief Executive Officer (Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Toronto)

Organization: Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Toronto
Position Title: Chief Executive Officer
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: Toronto, Ontario


The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is a nationwide, charitable organization dedicated to the promotion of mental health for all. Over the past century, CMHA has supported the resilience and recovery of mental health consumers, their families and friends, providing direct services in over 330 communities.

Established in 1953, CMHA Toronto has grown significantly to operate through 14 sites across the city, employing over 350 full-time staff and serving over 10,000 individuals each year. As a leading accredited community-based mental health agency, CMHA Toronto provides comprehensive services to individuals to support their mental health recovery. Knowing that a place to live, meaningful work and a caring community are integral to resilience and recovery, CMHA Toronto offers a broad range of services including evidence-based clinical programming such as Early Intervention, Assertive Community Treatment, Intensive Case Management, Family Support, Forensic and Justice Services, Homelessness Initiatives, Housing, Peer Initiatives and local and federal Employment Programs. CMHA Toronto is committed to serving all member of its diverse community, including those of different race, culture, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and age.

Client care and family engagement is top priority, and the organization prides itself in providing service users with timely, effective and quality services. Through engagement with our community and stakeholders, CMHA Toronto continues to advocate for mental health and ancillary services and strives to meet the needs of 21st century Toronto, making a difference in and improving people’s lives.


CMHA Toronto has grown significantly over the years, both in type and size of programs, and today is one of the leading organizations dedicated to serving the needs of those who are experiencing complex mental health and addiction issues, including those who are among the most vulnerable and challenging to serve. CMHA Toronto has built a workplace culture that strives for excellence in service delivery while taking care of each other through support and comradery. The diversity of programs and services offered is a core strength, and staff enjoy a participative and collaborative decision-making culture in a non-union environment. At the same time, the organization continues to grow with an emphasis on quality improvement, evidenced-based decision making, and clinical best practices and standardization of care. This has resulted in improvements in client, family and community care, learning and growth in the workplace, fiscal responsiveness and advances in internal processes.

The external environment continues to present many challenges and opportunities for CMHA Toronto, including the impact of COVID-19 and the organization’s commitment to providing essential services to clients, including access to virtual care. Health and social systems also continue to evolve, and CMHA Toronto is a key contributor to the development of several local Ontario Health Teams. With demand for services projected to increase, along with associated funding requirements, CMHA Toronto will continue to explore opportunities for sector collaboration and transformation to ensure better access and outcomes for clients.

Within this context, the Board of Directors has initiated the search for the new Chief Executive Officer following the announcement of the incumbent’s retirement.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer is the operational head of CMHA Toronto and is principally responsible for all its activities, services, financial affairs, results and risk management in accordance with related legislation, and the by-laws and policies of CMHA Toronto. The Chief Executive Officer provides leadership, counsel and guidance in planning and directing the organization, developing and implementing the strategic plan and maintaining effective relations between CMHA Toronto and its internal and external stakeholders. The Chief Executive Officer represents CMHA Toronto and sets the tone for the organization internally as well as publicly.

The Chief Executive Officer is directly accountable to the Board of Directors for:

  • Overall operational leadership and direction;
  • Proposing and implementing plans, strategies and activities for achieving CMHA’s vision, mission and goals;
  • High standards of service that respond to client needs and engagement of clients;
  • Effective and efficient administration and operations;
  • Financial health and sustainability;
  • Effective relationships with stakeholders and government;
  • Fostering a culture of organizational accountability, efficiency, respect, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

The Chief Executive Officer is a non-voting ex officio member of the Board and Board committees and serves as Corporate Secretary.

In assuming this leadership position, the new Chief Executive Officer will want to focus on the following key priority areas:

  • Familiarize oneself with the organization – its programs, clients served, staff, and culture – and establish credibility and relationships of trust with a diverse group of stakeholders, internal and external;
  • Navigate evolution of services and funding implications in the context of COVID-19, ensuring quality of programs, and safe and healthy environments for clients and staff;
  • Work closely with the Board and other key stakeholders to develop and implement a new strategic plan;
  • Ensure proficiency of operations, efficacy of team, and strength of culture; support ongoing quality improvement strategies, including learnings from upcoming accreditation, operational reviews, and client and employee surveys;
  • Lead/participate in sector advancement and transformation to improve access and outcomes for clients across the region.

A well-regarded leader in mental health services, CMHA Toronto enjoys strong and trusted relationships with funders and supporters, and its input is sought at all relevant sector discussions. With client care as top priority, its person-centered and co-design approach ensures programs and services have impact. With mental health increasingly in the spotlight, this is a wonderful opportunity to lead an organization with committed and dedicated staff and Board and play a leading role in addressing immediate needs for services while pursuing longer-term solutions. Although often challenging, the work of the organization and subsequent impact on people’s lives is also immensely gratifying.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following knowledge, experience, skills and attributes:

  • Experience in the mental health sector or related experience in the broader health, social or community services sectors, brings a passion for and commitment to CMHA’s vision of mentally healthy people in a healthy society;
  • Senior leadership experience and can step comfortably into the scale and complexity of the organization;
  • Strategic, analytical and problem-solving skills with ability to establish vision and set and execute strategy;
  • A systems thinker and collaborator with community/partnership building experience; an influencer with the credibility to be a key contributor to sector discussions;
  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills and effective at initiating, building and managing a diversity of relationships with individuals, organizations, agencies and governments;
  • Ability to work closely with CMHA Ontario and CMHA National, linking the alignment of national, provincial and local organizations;
  • Familiarity with government relations;
  • A skilled operator with an eye for proficiency and quality; appreciates evidence-based decision making and performance measurements of programs and services to enhance quality improvements aligned to service delivery excellence;
  • Demonstrates the values of equity, diversity and inclusion, and embraces anti-racism principles;
  • Embodies “leaderful” approach to management; engages leadership staff in decision-making;
  • Experience building high performing and accountable teams;
  • Approachable; transparent; high EQ;
  • Inspiring; effective communicator and presenter;
  • Adaptive; open to new ideas; effective at motivating and overseeing change; “can-do” attitude balanced with appropriate risk management;
  • Client-centered; empathetic; pays attention to client satisfaction and staff engagement;
  • Knowledge of good governance principles and experience working with a Board;
  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience.

CMHA is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from equity seeking groups including qualified individuals with personal experience of the mental health system.


Please forward a confidential expression of interest (cover letter and current resume) to:
Lindsay Millard, Senior Consultant –

Should you have any questions regarding this exciting and challenging opportunity, please contact:

Lindsay Millard, Senior Consultant,, (416) 928-4573
Chris Sawyer, Partner,, (416) 640-4312
Janice Kussner, Partner,, (416) 640-4313
Oksana Krupa, Executive Assistant,, (416) 928-4612

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