Mental Health Notes
More than 400 CMHA staff and front-line workers from across the province gathered in Toronto last week for the first-ever CMHA Ontario provincial conference.
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, CMHA branch Board members gathered for a full day program of governance-related subjects to help them in their leadership role within their respective jurisdictions. There were five presentations in total, spanning a wide range of topics including: legal and fiduciary duties of board members, fundraising, and anticipated implications of the new Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.
Dr. Joshua Tepper is a family physician and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Quality Ontario (HQO). As an arm’s length agency of the provincial government, HQO works in partnership with Ontario’s health care system to support a better experience of care and better outcomes for Ontarians.
The closing key note address at the 2015 CMHA Ontario Division conference was given by iconic musician and mental wellness advocate, Steven Page. Page is a co-founder of the Barenaked Ladies and is now leading a successful solo career.
CMHA Middlesex shared an innovative model of supportive housing with conference delegates with a presentation on the genesis, development, goals and outcomes of the Supportive Living Apartments on William Street, London. CMHA Middlesex developed the Supportive Living Apartments model by ‘re-purposing’ funds originally used by a traditional residential program known as Homes for Special Care (a custodial-type housing program with few supports). Supportive Living Apartments program has an overarching goal of community reintegration, focusing on a person-centred recovery philosophy that encourages independence and self-care for those with long-term mental illnesses.
For many newcomers to Canada, obtaining necessary health and social services can be a daunting task. They may be unaware of available services and how to obtain them. They may also not completely understand their health care provider or be comfortable with the way services are delivered. New Canadians face a number of barriers including language barriers, economic barriers (i.e. transportation, child care costs, lack of extended health care coverage, and inability to take time off work) as well as systemic barriers (i.e. hours of operation and lack of support from family members). Additionally, many newcomers have experienced a variety of social issues, such as environmental hardship and political persecution.
Standing ovations and cake are not something we typically expect to see in a courtroom, but for the 15 graduates of the Drug Treatment Court (DTC) in the Waterloo region, this is a rite of passage.
Individuals who use mental health services indicate that access and availability are two of the most important elements for engaging in services. During their conference presentation, CMHA Lambton Kent shared an innovative approach to address mental health needs at early onset: the Rapid Assessment Intervention and Treatment (RAIT) Program.
We all benefit from making lifestyle changes that improve our health and well-being. Clinicians, who are deeply invested in client care, often provide advice and suggestions to their clients to facilitate these changes, which range from eating healthier foods to seeking mental health services. Clients, on the other hand, may face a multitude of challenges that prevent them from undertaking a variety of health behaviours. They may not know where to start or how to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers.