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Provincial News

November 1, 2012 Brighter prospects for social assistance recipients

The final report by the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario was recently released. Entitled, “Brighter Prospects: Transforming Social Assistance in Ontario,” the report contains 108 recommendations for a more simplified, integrated system of income and employment supports. It was guided by six key principles and has three objectives:

October 18, 2012 Ontario pharmacists have expanded role in health care

As part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, the role of pharmacists in Ontario has now been expanded. Pharmacists in Ontario can now:

October 18, 2012 Trans people can change sex designation on birth certificate without surgery

Ontario has become the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow trans people to change the sex designation on their birth registration and certificate without surgery. While provincial policy previously required proof of “transsexual surgery” to make changes, an individual can now request the change with a letter from a physician or psychologist.

October 18, 2012 The burden of mental illness in Ontario

“Opening Eyes, Opening Minds: The Ontario Burden of Mental Illness and Addictions” report is the final issue in a three-part series, produced in partnership between the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Public Health Ontario (PHO). The report finds that the burden of mental illness is one and a half times that of all cancers, and seven times that of infectious diseases.

October 4, 2012 CE LHIN performance report summary

The Central East Local Health Integration Network (CE LHIN) recently released a Performance Summary report mapping actual performance against 2012/13 Ministry LHIN Performance Agreement targets, over a timeline of fiscal 2009/2010 to July 2012.

October 4, 2012 Unanimous vote for Addictions and Mental Health Ontario

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.”

October 4, 2012 MTCU announces $7 million for Mental Health Innovation Fund

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.

September 20, 2012 Northeastern LHIN population profile released

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.

September 20, 2012 CRICH offers resources to understand and measure health inequities

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.

September 20, 2012 OHRC releases Minds that Matter report

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.