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Provincial News

January 29, 2015 Expert Advisory Panel to help end homelessness in Ontario

great minds_expert panelLast year, the government set a bold long-term goal to end homelessness in Ontario as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. The province has since appointed a new Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness that will provide practical advice on how to best approach this goal.

January 29, 2015 For military families dealing with PTSD, program offers healing

COPE logoChris Linford, a retired lieutenant-colonel, was deployed to Rwanda in 1994. There in the midst of the genocide, he was deeply impacted by what he saw, leaving him “profoundly altered.” Chris returned home and began experiencing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He struggled to control his anger, depression and insomnia on his own until he sought help in 2004, 10 years later. Chris’ wife, Kathryn, and his three children were also significantly impacted by his PTSD.

January 29, 2015 Ontario’s legal community sparking new dialogue on mental health

Opening Remarks Screen ShotWhen Ontario Bar Association (OBA) president, Orlando Da Silva, spoke candidly about his own struggles with mental health, his story struck a chord with many in the profession. Subsequently, the OBA has launched a new initiative called Opening Remarks, aimed at addressing mental health in the legal sector.

January 29, 2015 More funds for student mental health in Ontario

Ontario is supporting 14 projects to address post-secondary students’ access to mental health services. This announcement came just after Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 10-day tour of Ontario colleges and universities, where the main issues raised were preventing sexual violence on campus and improving mental health services for post-secondary students.

January 15, 2015 Landmark court ruling implements changes to Mental Health Act

Photo of Waypoint MH FacilityThe Mental Health Act (MHA) legislation dates back to 1990 and allows individuals with mental health issues, who are at risk of causing harm to themselves or others, to be apprehended by police and detained. Most detentions last a few days and 80 percent are less than one month. However, there are rare cases (about two percent) where detentions last more than six months and individuals can be detained indefinitely as result of repeated renewals of the detention period.

January 15, 2015 Extreme cold and homelessness: a poor prescription for individuals with mental health conditions

No More homesless deaths imageThe extreme cold has gripped several regions across Ontario this month, but for two homeless people in Toronto the steep drop in temperature resulted in their deaths. Earlier this month, a homeless man died in a run-down delivery van. One day later, another homeless man said to be experiencing a mental health issue, was found dead in a transit shelter wearing only a t-shirt and jeans, with a hospital bracelet around his wrist.

January 15, 2015 Residents in Erie St. Clair get 24/7 access to addiction and mental health services

The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) launched a new initiative with ConnexOntario and other local partners recently to offer residents access to substance abuse and mental health services 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

January 15, 2015 There is still time to have your say about Ontario’s budget

Long before the Ontario budget is presented, the government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs reaches out to people and organizations across Ontario to gather information to help determine public priorities for the Budget.

December 18, 2014 Big changes afoot for ODSP employment benefits in 2015

ODSP imageAs we get ready to ring in the new year, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is gearing up for some changes that will have a significant impact on the income levels of OSDP recipients. First announced in the 2014 Budget, the Ontario Government plans to eliminate three existing employment benefits for recipients of ODSP and create a new “Employment-Related Benefit” (ERB) program beginning April 1, 2015.

December 18, 2014 Envisioning the future of Health Links in Ontario

Health Links Conference ImageAccording to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), five percent of patients account for two-thirds of healthcare costs. These are often individuals with multiple, complex conditions. When the hospital, the family doctor, the long-term care home, community organizations and others work as a team, the patient receives better, more coordinated care. This is the vision of the 47 Community Health Links across the province.