Mental Health Notes
Through their own experiences, two female athletes in Ottawa recognized the need to provide mental health services to student athletes. Subsequently, Samantha DeLenardo and Krista Van Slingerland launched the Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) on Twitter and Facebook. The aims of the initiative are to connect student athletes with local counseling services and resources as well as advocate for student athletes’ mental health.
The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, which works with provincial child and youth mental health agencies to enhance front-line service delivery, is pleased to announce three new online resources. The new tools are designed to help people, agencies and systems use evidence to strengthen care.
Language barriers between patients and health-care providers can pose significant challenges for health care quality. Researchers in Ontario are exploring the impact of this issue on our provincial health system. Using data from the 2006 Census, researchers at the Centre for Research in Inner City Health in Toronto, found that language barriers may be a significant issue for health care in a number of Ontario municipalities.
The Law Commission of Ontario has released four commissioned research papers to support its work on legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship. Each of these areas can impact significantly on the lives and experiences of people with disabilities, including mental health-related disabilities. The four papers include:
- Health Care Consent and Advance Care Planning: Standards and Supports, written by the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and Dykeman Dewhirst O’Brien LLP
- Decisions, Decisions: Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities who are Subject to Guardianship, written by Arch Disability Law Centre
- Understanding the Lived Experience of Supported Decision-Making in Canada: A Study Paper, written by the Canadian Centre for Elder Law
- Understanding and Addressing Voices of Adults with Disabilities Within Their Family Caregiving Contexts: Implications for Legal Capacity, Decision-making, and Guardianship, written by Dr. Bonnie Lashewicz.
Members of the public and organizations are invited to participate in two current reviews of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Health inequalities exist in Ontario. Ontarians who have lower incomes are at higher risk of having health problems like heart disease, poor mental health, stress and anxiety, depression, alcoholism, accidents, diabetes, obesity and lung cancer. To reduce these risks, the government would have to make changes to policies that affect health inequities. But action by government is linked to public awareness.
Technologies such as the internet, mobile applications, and video-conferencing are great tools that can help to deliver mental health services to children and youth.
Improving interactions and outcomes between persons with mental illnesses and the police was the focus of a national conference between mental health and law enforcement leaders in Toronto.
Bill C-14, the Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) Reform Act has gone to second reading in the Senate and has been a key subject at the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in Ottawa recently. Last month, the Committee heard from Justice Richard Schneider, chair of the Ontario Review Board and Review Boards of Canada, Dr. Sandy Simpson, chief of forensic psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Chris Summerville, Chief Executive Officer of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada and Dr. John Bradford, a forensic psychiatrist and Associate Chief (Forensic) at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.
On March 20, 2014, Statistics Canada released new data about admissions to youth and adult corrections services in 2011 to 2012. Overall, admission to correctional facilities has decreased by 7 percent and 1 percent in youth and adults respectively. Most of the individuals admitted are male (77 percent in youth and 85 percent in adults) and spending on adult correctional services passed the $4 billion mark in 2011-2012.