Mental Health Notes
The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) is hosting 32 focus groups to inform its project on reforming the Health Care Consent Act and Substitute Decisions Act. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario participated in their most recent focus group to discuss legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship. The LCO is concentrating on the following aspects of this issue:
Mark Henick is Program Manager for Mental Health Works at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario. He is also a mental health advocate and counselor; helping others conquer stigma and systemic barriers. This year, Henick has been chosen as one of five of Faces of Mental Illness by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).
Critical responses to violence and policing in mental health were the topics presented by guest speakers Anthony Morgan and Shane Martinez during the Across Boundaries Annual General Meeting in Toronto on September 29, 2014.
People in Ontario’s rural and northern communities have higher self-reported rates of fair or poor mental health, compared to the provincial average. CMHA Ontario is concerned about this disparity and remains committed to working with our local Branches to address the systemic barriers contributing to this inequity. In the past, CMHA Ontario has highlighted key challenges facing these communities and will continue to monitor any developments that focus on addressing mental health issues in northern Ontario.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne publicly released mandate letters to each Cabinet Minister in late September, outlining key priorities in 2014-2015 for their respective ministries. This is the first time that expectations for Ontario provincial cabinet ministers have been made public. CMHA, Ontario is encouraged to see that seven of the mandate letters include improvements for individuals with mental health issues.
The transition from prison to community can be incredibly challenging, which is one reason why almost half of all female prisoners are back behind bars within one year of their release and most have multiple prison terms, mainly for drug-related offenses.
Collaboration between researchers and stakeholders is critical to creating a bridge between research and health system change. While models of collaboration vary, meaningful stakeholder involvement over time can help ensure that research is relevant to knowledge users.
Scaling up is a planned, guided process designed to bring proven or promising health care initiatives or practices to more people. It’s believed that scaling up is achieved when an effective model or practice reaches 60 percent of people who can benefit from it.
Canada has an aging population. By 2016, individuals over the age of 65 will account for a larger share of the population than children aged 0-14. Therefore, programs and services to support older adults are valuable and necessary. Fortunately, both the federal and provincial governments appreciate this need and are implementing programs to support the health and well-being of older adults.
Mental health has far reaching effects and touches virtually every one in some way.
To help raise awareness of mental health issues, the World Health Organization observes World Mental Health Day every year on October 10.