Mental Health Notes
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) released statistics in September, 2014 on the number of suicides among its members. Although the CAF reports no significant change in suicide rates since 1995, others see the numbers differently. For example, many are emphasizing that there have been more Canadian soldiers who have died by suicide since 2004 than died in Afghanistan. That is 160 soldiers compared to 138 soldiers, respectively. These numbers include men and women in regular force personnel as well as those on the reserve force. However, they do not have a large enough female sample and are consequently only reflective of how male CAF suicide rates compare to males in the general population.
The use of peer support in the emergency department (ED) is an emerging practice. In a recent issue of EENet’s Promising Practices, Raymond Cheng profiles two scenarios: One is the inner city hospital with the dense and diverse populations it serves, and its use of a Community Support Worker; the second is the future establishment of peer navigators in the Central Local health Integration Network (LHIN) at two sites – one in the city, and another serving a broader suburban area. Each offers some lessons and implications for their respective use by racialized people with mental health issues..
This Promising Practice arose from the work of the Community of Interest for Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions (COI). CMHA Ontario is a member of the COI steering committee.
To read the full promising practice, visit the EENet website.
Former Chief Justice Frank Iacobucci has released a review of documents, policies and procedures of the Toronto Police Service and its interactions with people in crisis, offering up 84 recommendations.
Heather Rivers, reporter with the Woodstock Sentinel Review has been named the recipient of the 2014 CMHA Ontario Media Award for excellence reporting on mental health and addictions issues at the local level.
CMHA Ontario has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Health Nexus and CMHA Toronto to offer a training webinar about Using the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool in Community Mental Health. The webinar, originally conducted on July 17, 2014, was recorded and can be viewed for free at any time by using the links below.
In her latest blog for Qualaxia, a national online network for mental health system stakeholders, CMHA Ontario policy analyst Sheela Subramanian explains how tackling a complex policy issue can be like building a puzzle – one where the first step is to actually find the pieces.
CMHA Ontario’s Mood Walks program was featured on CBC radio this week as CMHA Elgin staff and program participants spoke to CBC Ontario Morning on the effectiveness of the program in their community. Participants in the program told CBC correspondent Kerry McKee that the nature walks coordinated by the program bring a sense of calm and focus to their day.
Gail Czukar has accepted the position of CEO for Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, an organization of community-governed, not-for-profit agencies that provide a full continuum of services and supports to help individuals in Ontario facing mental health and addiction issues.
The Ontario government has announced that it will undertake a collaborative approach to ensure that provincial hospitals have the capacity to support injured children, whether Palestinian or Israeli, who are victims of the current crisis in the Middle East.