On February 19, the Speech from the Throne: The Way Forward was given for the second session of the 40th parliament in Ontario. It focused on building a stronger economy and ensuring a fair society. Among its commitments was a promise to invest more in mental health services and fight stigma.
The Government of Ontario recently announced that they will continue housing and supports for 216 units serving 240 former homeless adults with mental health conditions living in Toronto. At Home/Chez Soi is a demonstration research initiative of the Mental Health Commission of Canada that was launched in 2008.
On January 22, 2013 the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC) in partnership with the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) hosted a webinar on communicating with correctional facilities. This webinar is now available for viewing online on the HSJCC Community of Interest Web Portal.
A study recently selected for the American Psychological Association online journal, APA PsycNET, and published in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, finds that the rapid job placement strategy utilized in the Ontario Disability Support Program’s (ODSP) employment supports services has resulted in low quality, low-paying jobs which are limited in opportunities for career development for people living with mental illness.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division (CMHA Ontario), in partnership with YMCA Ontario, and Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO), has launched the Enabling Minds project. Recognizing the importance of recreation in promoting optimal physical and mental health, Enabling Minds aims to reduce barriers that prevent people with mental health-related disabilities from accessing physical activity programs and resources at community centres, fitness clubs, parks and other recreational or fitness facilities.
The Government of Ontario has appointed the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council to continue its work in removing barriers for people with disabilities. The Council was implemented based on recommendations by Charles Beer, who conducted an independent review of Ontario’s accessibility law.
Working together with Aboriginal partners, Ontario will develop a multi-year Aboriginal Children and Youth Strategy. Responding to the recommendations from the Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare and former Ontario Aboriginal Advisor, John Beaucage, the strategy will focus on building community-driven, integrated and culturally appropriate supports to help Aboriginal children and young people grow up healthy and reach their full potential.
The Ontario government has released updates on last year’s “Action Plan for Health Care”. The changes within the past year include:
The deadline for submission to the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC) Police-Emergency Room Protocols Project has been extended to Thursday, January 31.
The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is launching the 2013/2014 “EnAbling Change” program. This program supports non-profit organizations to be leaders in helping others comply with Ontario’s accessibility standards. Through the program, financial support is provided to organizations to educate an industry or sector about their obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005.