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Mental Health Notes


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


To submit news for Mental Health Notes, send complete details to 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.

March 13, 2014 What are the needs of street-based sex workers?

Street-based sex workers face many challenges: they are pushed to the margins of society, their work is criminalized, many are homeless and poor, while some face violence or mental health and addiction issues. To overcome these barriers, there is a need for specific social and health services that meet their complex experiences.

March 13, 2014 Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk rolls into communities around Canada

Image of Clara Hughes for Clara's Big RideSix-time Olympian Clara Hughes is seeking to drive positive long-term change in the way Canadians perceive mental illness and talk about mental health by biking around Canada and visiting schools and community groups in every province and territory.

March 13, 2014 Study reveals impact of immigration experience on kids’ mental health

A new study reveals that children’s drawings can speak volumes about their experiences of immigration.  Monica Valencia completed graduate studies at Ryerson University where her thesis research explored how art may tap into the innermost thoughts and experiences of children.

March 13, 2014 The Canadian Psychological Association focuses on criminal justice and mental health

Special issue of Psynopsis on criminal justice and mental healthThe Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has released a special issue of its quarterly magazine Psynopsis, and it focuses on criminal justice and mental health.  The journal opens with a message from CPA CEO, Karen R. Cohen, stating that Canadian psychologists are well positioned to make meaningful contributions to public policy when it comes to the intersection of justice and mental health.

March 13, 2014 Despite progress in advancing rights of people with disabilities, challenges remain: report

Government of Canada logoThe Government of Canada has released its first report on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Canada ratified the convention in March 2010, and the convention came into full force in Canada in April 2010. The report tracks Canada’s implementation of the convention and provides information about federal, provincial and territorial laws related to the rights of persons with disabilities. The report was prepared collaboratively by federal, provincial and territorial governments in consultation with over 700 civil society and Aboriginal organizations, as well as the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

March 13, 2014 How CMHA is addressing stigma around mental health issues

A British systematic review, published in Psychological Medicine in February 2014,  shows that stigma around mental health is still a problem and prevents many people from accessing much-needed mental health services. According to the study, approximately one in four people have mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and bipolar disorder. However, the study found that in Europe and the United States, 75 per cent of individuals with mental health concerns don’t seek or receive treatment, which often results in poor outcomes.

March 13, 2014 Outdoor physical activity: a natural mood-booster

Ontario ForestWith spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to start being active outdoors. A growing body of evidence shows that outdoor physical activity not only improves mood and enhances well-being, but relieves stress and improves memory.

February 27, 2014 HSJCC profiled in piece about improving transitions between police and EDs for individuals with mental health issues

In late February, 2014, CMHA Ontario spoke to Healthy Debate writer Karen Born about our collaborative work with the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee. More specifically, we discussed the outcomes of the HSJCC Info Guide on Strategies for Implementing Effective Police-Emergency Department (ED) Protocols in Ontario which was released in 2013. Karen also spoke with representatives from hospitals and police services in order to write this article along with co-authors Dr. Andreas Laupacis and Mike Tierney. The piece provides a wide lens, looking at emergency department and police collaborations across Canada.

February 27, 2014 CMHA Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma and partners launch central hub for mental health services in northeastern Ontario

People served by CMHA Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma can now use the region’s first source of centralized access for mental health and addiction services. Launched recently, the Central Access and Information Service is a partnership between the branch, North Shore Community Support Services in Elliot Lake and other mental health and addiction service providers in Algoma.


February 27, 2014 CMHA addresses need for mental health and safety training in the workplace

Employers need to focus on mental health in the workplace just like they would do physical health, states a recent article authored by Kathy Jurgens, National Program Manager for Mental Health Works – a Canada-wide program based at CMHA Ontario.