Mental Health Notes
The week of January 26, 2014 included two separate announcements from Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews.
The 2011–2012 annual report, Correctional Investigator of Canada showed that 36% of federal offenders needed psychiatric or psychological support. It also showed that 45% of male inmates and 69% of female inmates were hospitalized for a mental health issue. This overrepresentation of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system is often referred to as the “criminalization” of mental illness.
What does juggling and unicycling have to do with improving self-esteem and disruptive behaviour? Jack Martin and Rooke Pitura of William Creighton Youth Services in Kenora made the connection when they attended a spring break Circus and Magic Partnership (C.A.M.P.) program for inner city kids in Winnipeg in 2004. What they saw left them speechless and committed to bringing the program 200 miles East to Kenora, Ontario.
In late January, it was reported that the Canada Board Services Agency (CBSA) is ready to begin sharing personal information with the United States Department of Homeland Security under the new Entry/Exit Initiative. This $139-million project has been in the works since 2011 as part of the Beyond the Border agreement between Canada and the United States. In the third and final phase of this initiative, the CBSA will expand the scope of monitoring to all people passing through land border crossings including, Canadian citizens by June of 2014.
Among the initiatives of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy is Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives (SISC). The goal is to create 18 Service Collaboratives that will improve services for Ontarians experiencing mental health and addictions issues by focusing on transitions: between hospital and community settings; health and justice systems; and youth and adult services.
Kathy Jurgens, National Program Manager for Mental Health Works – a Canada-wide program based at CMHA Ontario – was recently quoted about the mental health challenges that officers face in their line of work.
Housing support in any form is an effective intervention for people with severe addiction or mental health issues in the province, according to a review by Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO).
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX: The deadline has been extended to participate in a short survey for the Mental Health Accessibility Project, an initiative that aims to promote innovation in mental health accessibility and disability accommodation in Ontario.
A $300,000 grant awarded to CMHA Ontario will be used to teach older adults across the province the necessary skills to tackle mental health issues such as distress, anxiety and depression and enable them to change personal behaviours, including becoming more physically active and eating a healthier diet.