Mental Health Notes
CMHA Ottawa reached a milestone of 60 years of service in Ottawa’s mental health community this year, with the event marked recently with a celebration at the CMHA National conference. The organization began in 1953 when a small group of Ottawa citizens came together to determine the mental health needs of the Ottawa region. Originally led by a team of volunteers, CMHA Ottawa is now a leader in mental health services and resources for the Ottawa area.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has recently announced a new document that aims to improve interactions and strengthen the relationships between the police and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities.
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin announced Tuesday, November 5, 2013 that he has appointed two prominent police chiefs as special advisors to his ongoing investigation on guidelines provided to police for de-escalating conflict situations, including those involving people with mental health issues.
There were two developments at a recent Toronto Police Services Board which CMHA Ontario was following closely.
This new report from a Toronto-based partnership explores the value, need, and logistics of collecting health equity-related data from patients seeking health services. Starting in 2010, three Toronto-based hospitals – Mount Sinai Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and St. Michael’s Hospital – identified the need for patient socio-demographic data to inform health service planning. Soon joined by Toronto Public Health, the partnership embarked on a project to develop a patient questionnaire and start collecting data.
New research has raised questions about diversity of leadership within the GTA’s health sector. While boards and senior management teams of GTA health care institutions include significant numbers of women, others such as racialized groups, people with disabilities and LGBTQ people remain underrepresented.
On October 30, 2013, as part of their Off Course On Campus series, CBC Toronto hosted a town hall on student mental health. The town hall panel featured Janine Robb, Executive Director of Health and Wellness at University of Toronto, Terry McQuaid, Director of Counselling and Accessibility Services at Seneca College, Eric Windeler, founder of the Jack Project, and Rachel Cooper, a student with lived experience of mental health issues.
Across Canada, continuity of care has been identified as an important goal in the children’s mental health care system. ‘Continuity of care’ refers to a service user’s experience that is smooth, with linkages between different providers to ensure coordinated care. Until now, there has not been a way to measure continuity of care from the perspective of parents and youth.
When psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Osuch first joined the London Health Sciences Centre in 2005 as the Rea Chair of Affective and Anxiety Disorders, the mandate of her position was to conduct functional brain imaging research on mood and anxiety disorders. As her research progressed, she realized that the youth participating in her study were unable to quickly access the psychiatric care they needed. Some of the younger participants would end up on waiting lists that were one to two years long, others would wind up cycling in and out of the emergency department or would be referred to adult psychiatric facilities.