Family Advisory Council

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Who we are

Formed in 2006, the Family Advisory Council (FAC) is the voice of families at The Royal, transforming lives through family partnership in care, policy, programs and research. We are family and/or friends supporting loved ones through their mental health journey, either through care from The Royal or elsewhere.

Families are an integral part of the team supporting loved ones’ mental health recovery. Evidence shows that family engagement in care and treatment leads to better outcomes. 

What we do

  • champion the Client and Family Centred Framework
  • work in partnership on projects with the Client Advisory Council and contribute to The Voice newsletter
  • co-design new strategies, policies, programs, research and evaluations to support mental health across the lifespan and spectrum of client and family needs
  • sit as volunteer advisors on committees for policy and program review, quality improvement, senior hiring appointment, ethics, etc.
  • research best practice in family engagement to inform organizational change  
  • represent families at events and consultations held by The Royal 
  • organize events to share knowledge and promote best practice to improve the quality of care and experiences for clients and families
  • act as a liaison with family support/service groups in the community
  • update the Welcome Families & Friends displays on the units and in outpatient waiting areas where you can find information and resources for families. 
  • sit on the board of trustees and board committees

FAC impact and accomplishments 

(2018-2022) Developed family skills training modules for staff on topics such as: engaging family caregivers; confidentiality and consent; and grieving. The engaging family caregivers module was incorporated into the Carleton University school of social work curriculum. 

(2022) Co-hosted the second annual Engaging for Impact conference.

(September 2022): Implemented an Essential Care Partner Policy in a Mental Health Setting published in Ontario Caregivers Organization Bulletin 4.

(2022) Supported launch of The Royal’s Ozerdinc Grimes Family Regional Psychosis Clinic.

(2022) Collaborated with the Royal Ottawa Foundation and participated in fundraising events such as golf tournaments, Leaders for Mental Health Breakfast, and more.

Click here to read more about our impact.

The FAC is growing! Our goal this year is to recruit 15 executive council members – nine volunteers with experience at The Royal and six from the wider community. All members should have experience in: advocacy; supporting a loved one with a mental health or substance use challenge; and navigating the mental health system in Ottawa. 

Some of the benefits of FAC membership:

  • Free training relevant to advisor role 
  • Paid parking when representing the FAC at The Royal
  • Complimentary beverage from volunteer services 
  • Use of FAC office with laptop and phone
  • Free learning opportunities 
  • Volunteer appreciation
  • Access to medical library
  • Royal email address (
  • Opportunities to apply for funding to attend mental health conferences 
  • Royal website presence (photo and bio)

Have a look at our terms of reference to learn more about our role. Lend your voice to provide the family perspective to ensure the highest quality of care for all those served at The Royal. Come to a meeting and join the Family Advisory Council. 

How to get involved

If you want more information and would like to get involved with the Family Advisory Council, please complete our application form or email

Are you supporting a family member or friend?

Families and friends are part of the team supporting loved ones’ mental health recovery. Evidence shows that family engagement in care and treatment leads to better outcomes. 

And to do this well, they need support for themselves. The Client and Family Resource Hub offers a variety of resources to meet family caregivers’ needs for information, education and support through their mental health journey. 

The Voice

The Voice is a publication for clients and families produced in partnership with the Client Advisory Council (CAC). Click here to read past issues.  

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Engaging for Impact

Family Council Advisory Team photo

Meet our Family Advisory Council Members

Family Advisory Council Meetings

We meet the first Thursday of every month from 4 - 6 PM. The Council recruits members all year.

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Family Voice Bulletin

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Family Advisory Council Accomplishments

We are very excited about our accomplishments and with your participation we can continue to make a difference.

Contact Us

The Royal
Room 1200
1145 Carling Avenue
Ottawa ON K1Z 7K4