Mental Health Notes
On Oct 17 and 18, 2013, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) held its annual national conference. Hosted by CMHA Ottawa, the conference focused on addressing the social determinants of mental health and addictions, in recognition of the fact that a person’s mental health is influenced by a range of factors. These factors, referred to as the social determinants of health, include life experiences, workplace or other environments, housing, Income and other socio-economic conditions.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario is pleased to announce that Uppala Chandrasekera has joined the organization as Director of Policy and Planning.
A provincial coroner’s inquest into the deaths of three individuals who were all experiencing a mental health crisis when they were killed by police has begun in Toronto. The deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Elgion occurred separately at different times and locations across Toronto over the past three years but their cases are heard together during the 8-week inquest because they were all experiencing mental health issues and holding sharp objects when confronted by police. All officers involved in the three cases were cleared of any charges by the Ontario Special Investigations Unit. The inquest will thus focus on police training and use-of-force guidelines and aim to make recommendations on preventing these types of incidents from occurring in the future.
The official route map for Clara Hughes’ cross-Canada bike tour and mental health awareness campaign includes more than 25 stops in Ontario.
Postpartum depression is known to be a health problem that can have serious consequences for mothers, their children, and the family as a whole. As such, prevention is a high priority. The relation between the place of residence and risk of postpartum depression is not well understood.
Evidence shows that effective prevention programs for people who use drugs can reduce transmission of HIV and hepatitis B (HBV), and other harms related to drug use. Harm reduction programs, like needle and syringe programs, lead to fewer people having HIV and less needle and equipment reuse, and are cost effective.
Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs) such as Tasers are 2.7 times more likely to be discharged during a mental health emergency than during a criminal arrest, likely placing individuals experiencing mental health issues at greater risk of injury or death compared to the general population, states a report from the Council of Canadian Academies.
In the Oct. 10, 2013 issue of Mental Health Notes, we told you about the Caledon Institute of Social Policy’s Data Rescue campaign to raise money to collect information about welfare incomes in Canada. We’re pleased to report the institute has exceeded its goal of raising $20,000.
Americans are marking the anniversary of a key piece of legislation that drastically changed the way the U.S. health system addressed mental illness. It was 50 years ago – Oct. 31, 1963 – that President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act. Kennedy’s legislation focused on community-based care for patients experiencing a mental illness as opposed to institutionalization.