Mental Health Notes
As long-time advocates for increases to supportive housing, CMHA Ontario is pleased to see improved housing and ending homelessness as central long-term goals of Ontario’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy, Realizing Our Potential.
The numbers are in. According to the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s (ONPHA) latest report, the province needs 68 per cent more social housing units. This is the increase that would be required to house all of the Ontario households currently waiting for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units. This is a 4.2 per cent increase over last year.
As post-secondary students get into the swing of classes and extracurricular activities, academic, financial and personal challenges can contribute to significant stress, anxiety and depression. A few students may even contemplate suicide, which is the second most common cause of death for individuals aged 18 to 24.
Problem gambling and substance use disorders are serious public health concerns. The link between the two hasn’t been well studied, and most of the information has been on individuals who received treatment.
Research shows that tobacco-free hospitals have a number of health and safety benefits for patients. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) recently went tobacco-free, part of a growing trend in health care centres across Canada.
CMHA Ontario staff attended the first-of-its-kind national two-day conference in March 2014, co-hosted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) released statistics in September, 2014 on the number of suicides among its members. Although the CAF reports no significant change in suicide rates since 1995, others see the numbers differently. For example, many are emphasizing that there have been more Canadian soldiers who have died by suicide since 2004 than died in Afghanistan. That is 160 soldiers compared to 138 soldiers, respectively. These numbers include men and women in regular force personnel as well as those on the reserve force. However, they do not have a large enough female sample and are consequently only reflective of how male CAF suicide rates compare to males in the general population.
The use of peer support in the emergency department (ED) is an emerging practice. In a recent issue of EENet’s Promising Practices, Raymond Cheng profiles two scenarios: One is the inner city hospital with the dense and diverse populations it serves, and its use of a Community Support Worker; the second is the future establishment of peer navigators in the Central Local health Integration Network (LHIN) at two sites – one in the city, and another serving a broader suburban area. Each offers some lessons and implications for their respective use by racialized people with mental health issues..
This Promising Practice arose from the work of the Community of Interest for Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions (COI). CMHA Ontario is a member of the COI steering committee.
To read the full promising practice, visit the EENet website.