Mental Health Notes
Ready to open this spring, the new Community Food Centre in Toronto’s Regent Park area will build on the foundation of nutrition and gardening programs already established in the neighbourhood. The food centre is the result of a partnership between the Christian Resource Centre and Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC).
In late summer, Shelter House, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, saw an increased use of services by homeless individuals. The Executive Director, Patty Hajdu, thought ahead to the chilling temperatures that winter would likely bring. If the shelter’s 62 beds were filled in warmer months, what would be the demand for shelter when the cold weather set in?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects more than 5,000 individuals in Simcoe County. FASD is an invisible physical disability with behavioural symptoms. Individuals with FASD often have health issues and special needs that require ongoing support. When support is not available, people can face challenges related to mental and physical health, addiction, education, employment, and involvement with the justice system.
The Paula Goering Collaborative Research and Knowledge Translation Award recognizes an innovative researcher-decision-maker collaborative research project for Integrated Knowledge Translation in the area of mental health and addictions.
Two more instances involving individuals with mental health issues who were shot and killed by police are the subject of new inquests.
A new report from the Wellesley Institute tracks the impacts of recent federal health care cuts on refugees. Reforms to the Interim Federal Health program were introduced in 2012. This report identified four specific impacts of the cuts on refugee health:
- Administrative burdens for health service providers that in some cases may result in lack of access to services even where health care coverage exists
- Increased number of avoidable hospital emergency departments visits that could have been reduced through access to primary care
- Creation of a class of refugee claimants without access to health care services through the creation of the Designated Country of Origin list
- Reductions in health care access for vulnerable refugee groups, including pregnant women, resulting in potential for increased risks and complications.
A new Manitoba study showed that peer mentoring in elementary school can have beneficial health effects for both mentors and mentees. The healthy living program, called Healthy Buddies, involved pairing students aged nine to 12 with children aged six to eight. The older students received 21 weekly lessons from teachers on healthy eating, positive self-esteem and physical activity, which they then passed on to the younger children. Key messages were, “Go Move!”, “Go Fuel!” and “Go Feel Good!”
The jury in an Ontario coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon, three mentally ill Toronto residents fatally shot by police, has released dozens of recommendations to help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
CMHA Ontario continues to play a role in the ongoing development of Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) Mental Health Strategy, hosting two recent consultation sessions that garnered input from key stakeholder groups.