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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.

January 30, 2014 Ontario increases support for people with mental and physical illnesses, personal support workers

The week of January 26, 2014 included two separate announcements from Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews.

January 30, 2014 Research Report Round-up: New Approach to Mental Health and Criminal Justice

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.

January 30, 2014 Promising Practices: Kenora Circus Kids Program improves mental health among hard-to-reach youth

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.

January 30, 2014 Sharing Information across the border poses concerns for individuals with mental health and addictions issues

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.

January 30, 2014 Service Collaboratives: the basics

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.

January 30, 2014 Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario recognizes the one-year anniversary of mentally healthier Canadian workplaces

image of MHCC psychological standard cover and download linkCMHA Ontario is pleased to celebrate the first anniversary of Canada’s first-ever National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace in Canada.

January 10, 2014 CMHA offers opinion about operational stress injuries and mental illnesses in the police force

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.

January 7, 2014 Addiction Supportive Housing Implementation Review reveals impact of housing support

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).

December 20, 2013 Help improve mental health accessibility in Ontario – deadline extended

Image courtesy of Master / FreeDigitalPhotos.netTHINK 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.

December 19, 2013 CMHA Ontario receives $300,000 grant from Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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.