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Mental Health Notes

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A free biweekly newsletter published by CMHA Ontario, featuring mental health news and events.

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To submit news for Mental Health Notes, send complete details to news@ontario.cmha.ca. Submissions may be edited for publication. All submissions are subject to approval, and CMHA Ontario reserves the right to refuse any submission at its sole discretion.

February 27, 2014 Toronto Police under another review for use-of-force guidelines

Gerry McNeilly, Ontario’s independent police review director, announced that Toronto police use-of-force guidelines will be investigated starting at the end of February, 2014. The review will look at the most recent Sammy Yatim case as well as the outcomes of the triple inquest into the deaths of Sylvia Klibingaitis, 52, Michael Eligon, 29, and Reyal Jardine-Douglas, 25. Klibingaitis, Eligon, Jardine-Douglas were individuals with mental health issues who were fatally shot by police.

February 27, 2014 Provincial Advocate releases report by First Nations youth

Feathers of Hope report cover. Linked to report . Link will open in a new window.The Ontario Advocate for Children and Youth has released a new report by First Nations youth that calls for partnership to create healthy, safe communities for northern, remote and fly-in communities.  The report is entitled Feathers of Hope: First Nations Youth Action Plan.

February 27, 2014 New Regent Park Community Food Centre brings residents together

Image courtesy of CRC.

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).

February 27, 2014 Promising Practices: The Cold Weather Pilot Project

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?

February 27, 2014 Research Report Round-up: A comprehensive system-level approach to FASD in Simcoe County

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.

February 27, 2014 Paula Goering Award Now Accepting Applications!

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.

February 27, 2014 Two more inquests into police shootings of individuals with mental health issues

Two more instances  involving individuals with mental health issues who were shot and killed by police are the subject of new inquests.

February 27, 2014 New report tracks impacts of health care cuts on refugees

Image of Wellesley Institute logo. Links to Wellesley Institute website.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:

  1. Administrative burdens for health service providers that in some cases may result in lack of access to services even where health care coverage exists
  2. Increased number of avoidable hospital emergency departments visits that could have been reduced through access to primary care
  3. Creation of a class of refugee claimants without access to health care services through the creation of the Designated Country of Origin list
  4. Reductions in health care access for vulnerable refugee groups, including pregnant women, resulting in potential for increased risks and complications.
February 27, 2014 Peer support improves children’s self-esteem and promotes healthy eating

Cover of Manitoba's Healthy Buddies Pilot Project report. Image links to report PDF.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!”

February 27, 2014 Participate in The Play Exchange, Canada’s Active Living Challenge

playexchange logoOn February 22, 2014, the Government of Canada together with its partners launched The Play Exchange, an innovative initiative that asks Canadians to submit  ideas on how we can all be more active.