Charmaine C. Williams

Associate Professor; Factor-Inwentash Chair in Social Work in Health and Mental Health; University of Toronto; Cross-listed faculty, Women and Gender Studies Institute, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto; Maj. B. Sc. - McMaster University; Hon. B.A. - McMaster University; M.S.W. - University of Toronto; Ph.D. - University of Toronto
Phone Number: 
(416) 946-8225
Office Hours: 

By appointment

Research Interests: 
  • Illness, health and health care services
  • Individual and family experiences associated with serious mental illness
  • HIV Prevention and other health care issues in racial minority communities
  • Diversity, access and equity in service provision
  • Complementary research designs combining qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Professional education and training
  • Anti-racism, anti-oppressive practices and cultural competence

Charmaine C. Williams is an Associate Professor in Social Work and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Health and Mental Health. Her research bridges practice and access and equity issues that affect various populations including racial minority women, LGBTQ individuals in local and international context, and individuals and families affected by serious and persistent mental illnesses. The majority of her practice experience has been in the mental health care system where she worked in inpatient and outpatient services, providing interventions for individuals, families and groups. She has also been involved in organizational change initiatives in the health care sector, and has extensive experience developing and delivering professional education in the areas of anti-racism, cultural competence, mental health and addictions.

Dr. Williams is currently serving as the Acting Vice-Dean of Students at the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto. Professor Williams has served as the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Officer (2003-2004), the Associate Dean Academic for Social
Work  (2009-2014), and the Provostial Advisor on Access Programs (2014-2015).


Book Chapters: 

Williams, C.C. (2014). In the therapist’s chair is: Suman Fernando.  In R. Moodley & M. O’Campo (Eds.). Critical Psychiatry and Mental Health: Exploring the Work of Suman Fernando in Clinical Practice (pp. 102-108).   New York: Routledge.

Williams, C.C. & Chau, S. (2007).  Notes on feminism, racism and sisterhood.  In N. N. Wane & N. Massaquoi (Eds.), Under the Gaze:  Centering Black feminist discourse in the Canadian feminist landscape (pp. 285-295). Toronto: Inanna Publications.

Williams, C.C. (2005). Chapter 2 commentary: A feminist perspective. In S. E. Romans & M.V. Seeman (Eds.), Women’s Mental Health: A Life Cycle Approach (pp.32-33). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Williams, C.C. (2004). In search of an Asperger’s culture. In K. Stoddart (Ed.), Children, youth and adults with Asperger’s syndrome: Integrating multiple perspectives (pp. 242-252). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Williams, C.C. (2003). Seeking cultural competence: What is it, how do you develop it, and how do you know when you’ve got it?  In W. Shera (Ed.), Emerging perspectives  in anti-oppressive practice (pp. 265-278).  Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

Publications In Refereed Journals: 

Williams, C.C. (May 2018 online) Critical oral history: Reflections on method and medium. Qualitative Social Work.

Knyahnystka, Y., Williams, C.C., Webster, F. & Dale, C. (2018). Changing the conversation: Diabetes management in people with severe mental illnesses and Type 2 diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes., 42(6), 595-602.

Williams, C.C. (2018). Caregiving under siege: An argument for critical social work practice with families. Canadian Social Work, 20(1),  72-87.

Caravaca-Morera, J.A., Bennington, M., Williams, C., Mackinnon, K., and Ross, L.E. (2017). Contemporalis Homo Sacer: Barriers to accessing healthcare services for trans populations, Texto, Contexto Enferm, 26(3), e3710016.

Williams, C.C., Curling, D., Steele, L.S., Gibson, M.F., Daley, A., Green, D.C. & Ross, L.E. (2017). Depression and discrimination in the lives of women, transgender and gender liminal people in Ontario, Canada. Health and Social Care in the Community, 25(3), 1139-1150.

Steele, L.S., Daley, A., Curling, D., Gibson, M.F., Green, D.C., Williams, C.C. and Ross, L.E. (2016). LGBT identity, untreated depression, and unmet need for mental health services by sexual minority women and trans-identified people. Journal of Women’s Health, 26(2), 116-127.

Craig, S., Frankford, R., Allan, K., Williams, C., Shwartz, C., Yaworski, A., Janz, G & Malek-Saniee, S. (2016). Self-reported patient psychosocial needs in integrated primary health care: A role for social work in interdisciplinary teams. Social Work in Health Care, DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2015.1085483.

Williams, C.C., Almeida, M. & Knyahnytska, Y. (2015). Toward a biopsychosociopolitical frame for recovery in the context of mental illness. British Journal of Social Work, 45(suppl.1), i9-i26.

Pandalangat, N. Rummens, J.A., Williams, C., Seeman, & M.V. (2013). The social dimensions of health and illness in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora – Implications for mental health service delivery. Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1(3), 36-42.

Weaver, J., Newman, P.A., Williams, C.C., Massaquoi, N. & Brown, M. (2013). Sisters, Mothers, Daughters and Aunties”: HIV vaccine acceptability among African, Caribbean and other Black women in Toronto. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 104(5), e413-e417.

Williams, C.C.  & Tufford, L.A. (2012). Professional competencies for promoting recovery in mental illness. Psychiatry – Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 75(2), 190-201.

Williams, C.C. (2012). “In the therapist’s chair” interview: Professor Charmaine Williams in conversation with Dr. Suman Fernando. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 25 (2), 167-174.

Williams, C.C. & Moodley, R. (2012). Race, culture and mental health: Metissage, Mestizaje, mixed “race”, and beyond. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 25(2),  97-99.

Mfoafo-M’Carthy, M & Williams, C.C. (2010). Coercion and community treatment orders: One step forward, two steps back? The Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health.

Williams, C.C., Newman, P.A., Sakamoto, I. & Massaquoi, N. (2009). HIV prevention and the social organization of risk for Black women in Canada. Social Science and Medicine, 68(1), 12-20.

Burnes, D.P.R., Antle, B.J., Williams, C.C. & Cook, L. (2008). Mothers raising children with sickle cell disease at the intersection of race, gender and illness stigma. Health and Social Work, 33(3), 221-228.

Williams, C.C. (2008), Insight, stigma and post-diagnosis identities in schizophrenia. Psychiatry: The Journal of Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 71(3), 246-235.

Newman, P.A., Williams, C.C., Massaquoi, N., Brown, M. & Logie, C. (2008).  HIV prevention for Black women: Structural barriers and opportunities. The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 19(3), 829-841.

Williams, C.C. (2007). Mixed method evaluation of continuing professional development: Applications in cultural competence training. Social Work Education, 26(2), 121-135.

Williams, C.C. & M’foafo M’Carthy. M. (2006). Care: Giving, meaning and receiving in the context of mental illness. Psychiatry: The Journal of Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 69(1), 26-46.

Williams, C.C. (2006). The epistemology of cultural competence. Families in Society – The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 87(2), 209-220.

Williams, C.C. (2005). Training for cultural competence: Individual and group processes. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 14(1/2), 111-143.
Williams, C.C. (2005). Ethical considerations in mental health research with racial and ethnic minority communities. Community Mental Health Journal, 41(5), 509-520.

Williams, C.C. (2005). Violence against women in the context of mental illness: Hidden costs of sisters’ caregiving. Canadian Woman’s Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, 24(1), pp. 109-116.

Williams, C.C. (2004). Race (and gender and class) and child custody: Theorizing intersections in two Canadian court cases. NWSA Journal. 16(2), 46-69.

Cooper-Brathwaite, A. & Williams, C.C. (2004). Childbirth experiences of Chinese-Canadian women. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological & Neonatal Nursing. 33(6), 748-755.

Williams, C.C. (2004). Discharge planning process on a general psychiatry unit. Social Work in Mental Health, 2(1), 17-31.

Williams, C.C. (2003). Re-reading the IPSS record. Social Science & Medicine, 56(2003), 501-515.

Williams, C.C. & Collins, A. (2002). Predicting insight in outpatients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric Services, 53(1), 96-98.

Williams, C.C. & Collins, A. (2002). The social construction of disability in schizophrenia. Qualitative Health Research, 12(3), 297-309.

Williams, C.C. (2001). Confronting the racism in research on race and utilization of mental health services. Canadian Social Work Review, 18(2), 231-248.

Williams, C.C. (2001). Increasing access and building equity into mental health services: An examination of the potential for change. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 20(1), 37-51.

Williams, C.C. (2001). The angry black woman scholar. NWSA Journal,13(2), 87-97.

Garfinkel, P.E., Bagby, R.M., Schuller, D.R., Williams, C.C., Dickens, S., & Dorian, B. (2001). Predictors of success and satisfaction in the practice of psychiatry: A preliminary follow-up study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 46(9), 835-840.

Williams, C.C. & Collins, A. (1999). Defining new frameworks for psychosocial intervention. Psychiatry, 62(1), 61-78.

External Research Grants: 

Wong et al (2014). Reducing HIV Vulnerabilities and Promoting Resilience Among Self-Identified Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black Men in Ontario. $1.5 million. CIHR Team Grant, Boys and Men’s Health.

Wong et al (2014). Reducing HIV Vulnerabilities and Promoting Resilience Among Self-Identified Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black Men in Ontario. $10,000 Letter of Intent. CIHR Team Grant.

Logie et al (2013). Towards an understanding of structural drivers of HIV/STI and protective factors among sexual and gender minority youth in Kingston, Jamaica. $339,450 CIHR operating grant.

Bryson, M. et al (2012). Cancer’s margins and the choreography of knowledge: Toward a queer biopolitics and the mobilization of public health knowledge. $457,000 CIHR operating grant.

McCay, E. et al (2011). Implementing and evaluating mindfulness approaches in community-based primary healthcare settings. CIHR Meetings, Planning and Dissemination Grant. $24,920.

Williams, C.C., Khanlou, N., Gillis, L., Ross, L. & Massaquoi, N. (2011). Ain’t I a woman too? Looking at intersectionality’s relevance to the next generation of women’s health research. CIHR Cafe Scientifique Program. $3000.

Ross, L. et al (2011). Pathways to Effective Depression Treatment for Sexual and Gender Minority Women in Ontario. CIHR. $297, 451.

Nicol, N. et al (2011). Envisioning Global LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Human Rights. SSHRC CURA grant. $1,000,000. Role: Co-investigator and team leader for the Caribbean research.

McKenzie, K.J., Archie, S., Kidd, S., Noh, S., Tuck, A, Golding, L., Kirmayer, L, Simich, L, Williams, C.C., Hamilton, H., Lurie, S., Tang, T. (2010). A comparative study of pathways to first  episode care for psychosis in three ethnic groups in Ontario. Canadian Institutes for Health Research. $400,000.

Williams, C.C. (2009). Insight, internalized stigma and post-diagnosis identities in schizophrenia. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. $121,567.

Williams, C.C., Newman P.A. , Massaquoi, N.A. & Tharao, W. (2008). The Toronto Black Women’s HIV Prevention and Vaccine Research Forum. Canadian Institutes for Health Research. $25,000.

Newman, P.A., Williams, C.C. & Woodford, M. (2006). HIV vaccine trial participation and community engagement. Ontario HIV Treatment Network. $182,000.

Newman, P.A. & Williams, C.C. (Co-Principal Investigator), Sakamoto, I. & Massaquoi, N. (2004). Promoting equity in access to post-trial HIV vaccines for Black women in Canada: Risks, barriers and adoption intentions. Canadian Institute for Health Research, Pilot Projects Grant. $95,550.

Williams, C.C. (2004). Seen but not heard: Subjective perspectives on caregiving in schizophrenia. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Standard Research Grant. $67,986.

Williams, C.C. & Massaquoi, N. (2004). A collaborative process to achieve access to primary health care for Black women and women of colour.  Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Primary Health Care Transition Fund. $469,300.

Williams, C.C. & Kalim, A. (1996). Discharge planning research. Bicknell foundation. $25,000.

University Research Grants: 

Williams, C.C. (2005). An exploration of community responses to community crisis. Royal Bank Graduate Fellowship, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. $10,000.

Williams, C.C. (2003). Family support for people living with mental illness: Are siblings the missing link? Connaught Committee, University of Toronto, Matching Grant. $18,000.

Williams, C.C. (2003). Life experiences of siblings of people with severe mental illness. SSHRC Institutional Grant, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. $2,951.

Williams, C.C. (2003). Identity and transitions in the experience of mental illness. Royal Bank Graduate Fellowship, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. $10,000.

Williams, C.C. (2002). Disability and recovery in serious mental illness. Connaught Committee, University of Toronto Start-up Grant.  $10,000.

Williams, C.C.  & Collins, A.A.  (1996). The impact of psychosis on the self. Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Research Fund. $5,477.