A recent public inquiry into the death of Edward Snowshoe in the federal penitentiary system has renewed calls across the country to improve coordination of mental health and justice services, particularly for inmates with mental health histories.
In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness. However, there remains a gap between mental health and public health activities.
Police officers often encounter difficult and sometimes traumatic situations as part of their day-to-day work. This can result in an operational stress injury which is any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from combat, law enforcement or other operational and service-related duties. Operational stress injuries include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders, and even suicide.
Major depression is one of the most common mental health problems. About one in six Canadians will experience an episode of depression during their lifetime. To address this issue, there is a new evidence-based resource available that inform individuals about effective treatments for depression. The online resource is called Informed Choices About Depression.
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.
The Tema Conter Memorial Trust is launching a cross-country tour to raise awareness about the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on Canada’s military and first responders.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has announced it will be releasing its report which will serve as the blueprint for a formal mental health education and training program for police departments across the country.
Healthy Minds Canada (HMC) has developed a prototype for a fun, scenario-based app about bullying, designed to improve (and measure) empathy while teaching coping and preventative skills.
On April 8, 2014, the Mental Health Commission of Canada released a report documenting the final results of the At Home/Chez Soi research demonstration project, which examined “Housing First (HF)” as a means of ending homelessness for people living with mental illness in Canada.
Do you know a young person who has demonstrated resiliency or is familiar with the Canadian mental health landscape and enjoys drawing, painting, photography or writing short stories and poetry? If so, encourage them to consider a leadership opportunity so that they might reach other young people and improve youth mental health policy in Canada.