The John Howard Society of Toronto presented their new Reintegration Centre recently with an Open House and barbeque event. Officially opened in November, the Centre aims to help individuals who are released from the new Toronto South Detention Centre, located across the street, to better reintegrate back into the community. Toronto South is a male correctional facility that can hold over 1,600 inmates and will release approximately 180 men each week once the facility is at capacity.
Police are looking to collect community feedback on the new body-worn camera pilot project, which took to the streets this month. Over the next few weeks, 20,000 surveys will be delivered to randomly chosen homes and businesses, and an online surveyis available for members of the public to share their feedback as well. The survey includes questions about support for officers to wear a camera and in what situations the camera should be turned off. The pilot project will last one year, and will then be evaluated using the community’s comments.
The Government of Ontario has asked the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) to develop the new standards for suicide prevention in a hospital setting. A new OHA task force, chaired by Dr. Ian Dawe, will focus on establishing safe medical practices for at-risk patients by looking at best practices and working with patients and those with lived-experience.
Health Quality Ontario has launched a new report, titled Looking for Balance. The report highlights that a major difference across Ontario’s long-term care homes is the percentage of residents who are being prescribed antipsychotic medications.
Concerns about the province’s decision to accelerate the pace of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) medical reviews led to a welcome change of direction by the Ontario government this week. While the government originally planned to begin to clear a backlog of more than 60,000 medical reviews on April 1, 2015, a spokeswoman for the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, told the Toronto Star this week that “the Ministry wants to take the time to get the process right.”
Ontario has announced a new investment of $20 million for health innovation as part of the government’s adoption of all six recommendations from the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC). The goal of these recommendations is to support more Ontario-made health technologies, improve patient care and encourage economic growth.
A new Northern Telepsychiatry Program is now available that will link psychiatrists to Family Health Teams in the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The program creates a collaborative care model for both providers and patients, and aims to increase Northerners’ access to mental health care across the region.
Ontario is launching consultations for a renewed Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to support the province’s goals of improving outcomes for people and ending homelessness. The Consultation Discussion Guide outlines the progress of the current strategy, future goals and areas where more input from partners is needed. Participants can submit their views to the government online, by telephone or in writing by July 3, 2015.
A recent webinar by the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC) focused on a Mental Health Adult Pre-Charge Diversion Program in Durham Region. Constable Scott Logan, along with Yolanda Diston and Valerie Mussington from Durham Mental Health Services, engaged over 150 webinar participants in a discussion about local efforts in implementing this program and how it has helped them make referrals and improve police awareness of mental health issues.
Two integration case studies were presented in a webinar hosted by Community Health Ontario on April 15, the first event in a three-part series. Close to 70 participants heard two stories from opposite ends of the spectrum — a collaborative alliance in the South West LHIN, and a full merger in Toronto Central LHIN — followed by an informative Q&A session.