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National News

May 21, 2015 Canada’s Correctional Services Crisis

Crisis in Correctional Services coverLack of mental health training for correctional officers, overcrowding and poor treatment of individuals with mental health issues are the key issues identified in a recent report by the Public Services Foundation of Canada (PSFC), titled Crisis in Correctional Services.

April 23, 2015 CMHA National releases position on police record checks

CMHA National recently released a position statement on the “Right to Privacy related to Mental Health Information contained within Police Records.” This position statement comes in the wake of the announcement that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services in Ontario will be drafting new legislation on what police services can and cannot disclose. The BC Information and Privacy Commissioner has also issued an order stating that information related to an individual’s mental health should not be included in police information checks.

April 9, 2015 Bill to establish a Canadian Commission on Mental Health and Justice will not go to Senate

Late in 2013, Bill S-208, an Act to establish the Canadian Commission on Mental Health and Justice was introduced and received first reading in the Senate. The bill was then sent to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology in March 2015.

April 9, 2015 CBC Radio’s the Current examines media coverage of mental health issues

On Wednesday, April 1, 2015, the popular CBC radio program, the Current, took a closer look at the role of the media and how journalists report on mental illness and mental health.

March 26, 2015 Landmark study dispels ‘not criminally responsible’ myths

According to the National Trajectory Project, a landmark study published in the March 2015 edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, less than one-tenth of Canadians found not criminally responsible (NCR) on account of a mental disorder commit a serious violent crime. Moreover, 72 percent of NCR individuals have at least one psychiatric hospitalization before their offence and less than one percent re-commit a serious violent crime once released back into the community.

March 26, 2015 Statistics Canada Releases More Data on Canadians with Disabilities

In March, Statistics Canada released more data from the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD). Data from the CSD is used to present a profile of Canadian adults whose daily activities are limited because of a long-term condition or health-related problem. The new data points to significant labour and income disparities faced by those with disabilities.

March 12, 2015 BC has most hospitalizations due to mental health issues

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released its annual report Inpatient Hospitalizations, Surgeries and Childbirth Indicators. According to the report, mental health and addictions conditions, such as mood disorders, schizophrenia and other delusional disorders, were among the most common causes for hospitalization nationally and across all provinces and territories except in Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

March 12, 2015 An issue of growing concern: homelessness in Canada's North

Northern Voices on HomelessnessHomelessness in our northern communities is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging as a much more visible issue since the 1990s. Last week, a panel of experts in homelessness research, policy, advocacy, and social services convened at the Northern Voices on Homelessness forum in Anchorage, Alaska to try to understand what it means to be homeless in the north, why homelessness is on the rise and to exchange ideas on solutions.

February 26, 2015 Housing sector gets a financial boost from the feds

Homeless Hub MapThe federal government chose Canada’s largest city as the backdrop for its recent announcement of its Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). Ottawa is giving Torontoan additional $86 million to support homelessness prevention and reduction initiatives. It’s welcome news in a city where nearly 9,000 people are waiting for supportive housing and many waiting for over five years to get subsidized housing.

February 26, 2015 MHCC consults on guidelines for recovery-oriented practice: report

MHCC_RecoveryEarlier this week, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) hosted an eastern Canada regional dialogue to discuss their draft Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice. Participants came from as far away as Newfoundland and Labrador and had lively discussion on the history of the consumer/survivor movement, how to define recovery and ways to implement the guideline in the future. The final guidelines will be released by the end of May, 2015.