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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.

May 8, 2014 Disproportionately high youth suicide rates in the Aboriginal population

The average rate of suicide in Canada among Aboriginal youth is about five to six times higher than non-Aboriginal youth. Chief Peter Moonias from the Neskantaga First Nation spoke recently about the alarmingly high rate of suicide in his small community of 420 residents, of which 60 percent are youth.

May 8, 2014 How to cope with long wait-times for child and youth mental health services

One in five children and youth has a mental health condition; yet, fewer than 25 percent receive treatment. Additionally, it can take several months to obtain an appointment with a mental health professional, which can be extremely frustrating for everyone involved.

May 8, 2014 Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams expanded in Toronto

The Toronto Police Service has announced the expansion of its Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) Program to cover all areas of Canada’s largest city. This brings the number of MCITs in Toronto to 6 and the program now covers all but three of the city’s police divisions. The hope is that the remaining divisions will be covered by expanding the areas served by existing MCITs.

May 8, 2014 Approaches for serving justice-involved persons with mental health issues

Are you interested in learning about ways to identify and help individuals with mental health issues who are at risk for or involved with the criminal justice system? Read our latest evidence briefs, which introduce various frameworks, programs, and resources for identifying and effectively managing individuals with mental health issues who are at risk for or involved with the criminal justice system. The topics covered include brief screening for mental health and substance use problems, community-based diversion programs for youth, frameworks for mental health diversion, and strategies to address police-to-hospital transitions for people experiencing mental health challenges.

May 8, 2014 Changing thinking patterns for persons with social anxiety

Individuals with social anxiety have a tendency to focus on negative or threatening stimuli in the environment (called “attention bias”) and to interpret ambiguous social situations negatively (called “interpretation bias”). These biases are believed to play a key role in the development and maintenance of social anxiety disorder.

May 8, 2014 Canada’s Correctional Investigator examines prescription practices in prisons

A joint investigation between CBC News and the Canadian Press revealed that Canadian prisons are prescribing and using powerful medications in order to “sedate” and manage inmates. This was especially true for female inmates, where 63 percent of them were prescribed psychotropic medications or medications that affect one’s mental state in 2013. This is a significant increase from over a decade ago when the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) showed that just 42 percent of female inmates were prescribed these medications.

May 8, 2014 Community Food Centres Canada shares their new Diet & Mental Health module

In early April, Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) hosted a webinar: Diet, Mental Health, and the Role of Community Food Programs. The webinar featured The Stop Community Food Centre’s Kristyn Dunnion and Karen Davison, a dietitian and researcher with the University of British Columbia and Dietitians of Canada. For those who weren’t able to join in, the video from the event is now available on CFCC’s knowledge exchange website, The Pod and is accompanied by a wide range of resources geared to organizations engaged in food programming and/or mental health.

Follow this link to access the new module.


April 24, 2014 Mental health police records not criminal records: CMHA Ontario

CMHA Ontario was sought recently to comment on a new report from Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner that criticized the sharing of personal information related to suicide attempts with U.S. border officials.

April 24, 2014 Get ready for Mental Health Week 2014

Mark your calendars because the 63rd annual Mental Health Week (MHW) is almost here.

April 24, 2014 Visit official website of Mental Health Week 2014

Mental Health Week Website ScreenshotDid you know this is the 63rd year that Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has led Mental Health Week (MHW)? Do you want to find out more about the focus of MHW 2014? Interested in taking a quiz to assess your own mental health?