At a special meeting held September 27, 2012 in Toronto, the memberships of the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs and Addictions Ontario voted unanimously to amalgamate and form a new provincial organization called “Addictions and Mental Health Ontario.”
The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) recently announced the creation of the Mental Health Innovation Fund for new projects that improve mental health services and outcomes for Ontario’s postsecondary students. Projects can potentially be funded for up to three years. Overall allocation of funds has been set at $7 million per year, up to the year 2015.
The North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) has released a health profile of the region using Statistics Canada data (Statistics Canada – 2006 Community Profiles and Statistics Canada – Health Profile, June 2012). The profile highlights the area’s changing demographics; details high rates of chronic disease and lower life expectancy; and describes unique population characteristics. For example, the NE LHIN has the largest proportion of Francophone population compared to all other LHINs, at 23 per cent.
The Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH) at St. Michael’s Hospital is offering new resources to increase understanding about health inequities. Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Applied Health Research Questions (AHRQ) program will provide users with a rapid response, research report or brief, and research project on a specific topic. Through the Canadian Marginalization Index and Ontario Marginalization Index resources, health equity and marginalization data is captured and measured across different geographic areas. These tools use census data to deliver information in four clusters of characteristics: residential instability, material deprivation, dependency, and ethnic concentration.
On September 12, 2012, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released Minds that Matter, the findings from the province-wide consultation on the human rights issues experienced by individuals with mental health and addictions disabilities. More than 1,500 individuals and organizations participated in this consultation.
The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) has released a guide to explain the provincial accessibility standards for:
- Information and Communications,
- Employment, and
First announced by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in August 2011, the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) project is a $40 million provincial investment intended on reinventing the system of care for seniors across Ontario. Of this investment, $1.6 million has been allocated to the Central East LHIN for the current fiscal year, and $4.06 million on an annual basis thereafter.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has advised the Government of Ontario on how to protect the rights of trans people in Ontario with respect to changing the sex designation indicated on short-form birth certificates. In April 2012, the rights of trans people in Ontario were reinforced by a Human Rights Tribunal decision, XY v. Ontario (Government and Consumer Services). The tribunal found that the existing requirement for “transsexual surgery” prior to changing sex registration on a birth certificate as outlined by the Vital Statistics Act is discriminatory. Accordingly, on July 25 2012, the OHRC responded to a request for consultation from the Government of Ontario regarding the process of changing sex designation on a birth certificate.
On June 30 2012, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its annual report for the 2011/2012 year, highlighting the Commission’s achievements in legal interventions and policy work.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance has launched a campaign for the development of three new accessibility standards to address recurring barriers in the areas of education, health care and residential housing.