On May 12, 2014, the Provincial Human Service and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC) held a webinar titled “Moving the Wheels of Justice: Communication about Mental Health within the Courthouse.” The webinar was presented by Dr. Julian Gojer, a Forensic Psychiatrist on staff at the Toronto Western Hospital. Dr. Gojer also sits on the Ontario Review Board and works at the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville, Ontario. This is a unique, one of a kind jail in Canada that operates similarly to a psychiatric hospital.
The Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (OCDPA), formed in 2003 to address the urgent need for integrated action and collaboration on the issue of chronic disease prevention, aims to bring concerns regarding the state of health in Ontario to political party leaders, MPPs and nominated candidates in the leadup to the upcoming election. .
Did you know that there are over 800 neuroscience researchers, 130 brain-related companies, and 100 institutions involved in neuroscience in Ontario? On Wednesday, June 4, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) will be hosting an introduction to the Neuroscience Asset Map, a dynamic tool that allows users ranging from patients, researchers, companies, and not-for-profit organizations to discover and connect with neuroscience resources across Ontario.
A new provincial law has been created to strengthen job protection for family member caregivers. The Family Caregivers Bill, which was passed on April 29, 2014, increases existing family medical leave by introducing three new types of leave:
- Family caregiver leave, which provides up to 8 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for workers who provide care or support to a family members with a senior medical condition
- Critically-ill child care Leave, which provides up to 37 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family caregivers of critically ill children
- Crime-related child death or disappearance leave, which provides workers with up to 52 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a missing child and up to 103 unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a child who has died due to crime.
The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health has launched a toolkit called, “Together to Live: A toolkit for addressing youth suicide in your community”. The purpose of this resource is to provide tools and information to assist service providers in mobilizing their communities around youth suicide prevention, risk management and postvention. It also offers an opportunity for community networks or coalitions to share what they are doing to address youth suicide through the Communities in action section.
The average rate of suicide in Canada among Aboriginal youth is about five to six times higher than non-Aboriginal youth. Chief Peter Moonias from the Neskantaga First Nation spoke recently about the alarmingly high rate of suicide in his small community of 420 residents, of which 60 percent are youth.
One in five children and youth has a mental health condition; yet, fewer than 25 percent receive treatment. Additionally, it can take several months to obtain an appointment with a mental health professional, which can be extremely frustrating for everyone involved.
The Toronto Police Service has announced the expansion of its Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) Program to cover all areas of Canada’s largest city. This brings the number of MCITs in Toronto to 6 and the program now covers all but three of the city’s police divisions. The hope is that the remaining divisions will be covered by expanding the areas served by existing MCITs.
On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the Ontario Government will release the 2014-2015 Provincial Budget. CMHA Ontario will be monitoring the Budget process with a special focus on the government’s response to our pre-Budget submission which included a number of specific recommendations in support of mental health and addiction services in Ontario.