Mental Health Notes
The tragic shooting at Ford Hood, Texas highlights the prevalence of mental health issues amongst military veterans and the need for a comprehensive, integrated and evidence-informed mental health strategy for members of the armed forces.
Several individuals experiencing mental health issues had no choice but to sleep on the floor at a London, Ontario hospital while patients with physical illness were admitted into rooms with beds before them, according to an article in the London Free Press.
Every year, CMHA hosts Mental Health Week, an initiative that offers people practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health and support their recovery from mental illness. This year’s Mental Health Week will be held from May 5-11, with a special focus on increasing awareness of women’s mental health by providing information, tips and resources to address women’s mental health issues.
The Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH) unveiled its new website this week, which is designed to help campus mental health practitioners in Ontario to support the needs and promote the mental health of college and university students.
Through their own experiences, two female athletes in Ottawa recognized the need to provide mental health services to student athletes. Subsequently, Samantha DeLenardo and Krista Van Slingerland launched the Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) on Twitter and Facebook. The aims of the initiative are to connect student athletes with local counseling services and resources as well as advocate for student athletes’ mental health.
The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, which works with provincial child and youth mental health agencies to enhance front-line service delivery, is pleased to announce three new online resources. The new tools are designed to help people, agencies and systems use evidence to strengthen care.
Language barriers between patients and health-care providers can pose significant challenges for health care quality. Researchers in Ontario are exploring the impact of this issue on our provincial health system. Using data from the 2006 Census, researchers at the Centre for Research in Inner City Health in Toronto, found that language barriers may be a significant issue for health care in a number of Ontario municipalities.
The Law Commission of Ontario has released four commissioned research papers to support its work on legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship. Each of these areas can impact significantly on the lives and experiences of people with disabilities, including mental health-related disabilities. The four papers include:
- Health Care Consent and Advance Care Planning: Standards and Supports, written by the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and Dykeman Dewhirst O’Brien LLP
- Decisions, Decisions: Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities who are Subject to Guardianship, written by Arch Disability Law Centre
- Understanding the Lived Experience of Supported Decision-Making in Canada: A Study Paper, written by the Canadian Centre for Elder Law
- Understanding and Addressing Voices of Adults with Disabilities Within Their Family Caregiving Contexts: Implications for Legal Capacity, Decision-making, and Guardianship, written by Dr. Bonnie Lashewicz.
Members of the public and organizations are invited to participate in two current reviews of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Health inequalities exist in Ontario. Ontarians who have lower incomes are at higher risk of having health problems like heart disease, poor mental health, stress and anxiety, depression, alcoholism, accidents, diabetes, obesity and lung cancer. To reduce these risks, the government would have to make changes to policies that affect health inequities. But action by government is linked to public awareness.