Search underway after another patient goes missing from CAMH
Toronto police are asking the public to be aware after another patient went missing from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Police said 59-year-old Robert McNamara was last seen on Friday around 1:30 p.m. in the area of Queen Street West and Ossington Street, where the facility is located.
Police would not say if McNamara is a patient at CAMH, though the facility did indicate to Global News that he is a patient there.
“In this case, this is not a forensics patient,” CAMH said in a statement Saturday afternoon, indicating that McNamara is not under a court order to attend the facility.
“Many of our patients are voluntary and come to CAMH for treatment and support so they can recover. As part of their recovery plan, voluntary patients are given opportunities to demonstrate how far along in their recovery they are by exercising passes into the community.”
READ MORE: Missing CAMH patient found in Brampton
CAMH said when a voluntary patient does not return and a physician is concerned for their safety, they begin to work with police to locate the patient with a “primary focus … on the safety of the patient themselves”.
“Unfortunately, we know too many people feel the stigma associated with mental illness. Suggestions that all people experiencing mental illness are a public safety threat further contributes to stigma and makes it more difficult for the next person to get the help they deserve,” the statement said.
WATCH: CAMH protocols questioned after another patient disappears
However, police are advising anyone who sees McNamara to “not approach” him and call 911. Police said they are also concerned for his personal safety.
A police spokesperson would not comment on whether or not he has previously faced criminal charges.
He is described as five feet, seven inches tall, 115 pounds with a thin build, brown eyes, a full beard and salt and pepper hair with a receding hairline.
News of McNamara missing comes after four other disappearances from CAMH in recent weeks, leading to the launch of an internal and external review of protocols around patient passes and privileges at the medical facility.
Prior to McNamara’s disappearance, the most recent patient to go missing from CAMH was 45-year-old Anthony Murdock, who was last seen there Tuesday and was found in Brampton Friday, according to police.
Another missing patient, Zhebin Cong, was found not criminally responsible in the murder of his roommate in 2014. He was reported missing on July 3 and still has not been found.
Police have since said he fled the country.
Anyone with information on the missing patients is asked to contact police at 416-808-1400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
WATCH: (Aug. 2) Why are patients going missing from CAMH?
– With files from the Canadian Press and Caryn Lieberman
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