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Provincial News

June 2, 2011 Policy changes can increase employment for social assistance recipients

In conjunction with Houselink Community Homes and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, supportive housing advocates “the Dream Team” have produced a report that proposes four policy changes for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). If implemented, these changes could reduce the current 89 percent unemployment rate among ODSP recipients.

June 2, 2011 Help build healthier communities

The largest population-based health study ever conducted in North America, the Ontario Health Study (OHS) is attempting to uncover common risk factors that lead to a spectrum of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s and depression. Recruiting Ontarians aged 18 and older, the long-term study aims to arm researchers with information that will help develop strategies for the prevention and treatment of various diseases.

May 19, 2011 E-Health update

E-Health is working to ensure health care providers will be able to share electronic health information for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents, who represent 47 percent of Ontario’s population. Currently, electronic health information is stored in system silos, causing delays, duplication of tests and extra cost. Because of the ConnectingGTA project, it won’t be long before all 700 service providers across the five GTA Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINs) are connected under a single “electronic roof”. The E-Health project will enable patient information to securely flow from one service provider to another within the system.

May 19, 2011 Online registration with Ontario Social Assistance now available

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has created an online application process for four of its programmes: Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Temporary Care Assistance, and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities. A section is provided for identifying whether a request is for emergency assistance.

May 19, 2011 Announcing Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene has changed their name to Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. In a press release dated May 6, 201l, President and CEO, Carol Lambie stated that, “A waypoint is a reference point for navigation, whether nautical or in finding your way on a road or journey. This name was chosen for its fit with our location and what many said was the healing power of being on Georgian Bay; how it signifies a safe harbor, a guiding light or point during a storm.”

May 5, 2011 Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario

Creating Together, sponsored by the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network (OMHAKEN), in partnership with fifteen provincial organizations, collaboratively developed a mental health and addictions research agenda by engaging stakeholders of research in the agenda-setting process. This is an important aspect of knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) that supports research uptake.

May 5, 2011 Mental Health Week

This year, the Canadian Mental Health Association is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Mental Health Week. That’s 60 years of talking about protecting and improving the mental health of Canadians, from coast to coast!

May 5, 2011 Housing Services Act, 2010 passes third reading

Bill 140, Ontario’s Affordable Housing Act, 2010 passed third reading on April 19th, 2011 and is awaiting royal assent. This bill is the foundation of the Affordable Housing Strategy released by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing earlier this year.

April 21, 2011 Weight bias and physical activity promotion

Practitioners can learn about the impact of weight bias in a recent article published through the Alberta Centre for Active Living. Weight bias, or discriminatory attitudes toward individuals based on their body size and weight, can create barriers to their participation in daily living and physical activity. Weight bias among practitioners can translate to reduced quality and time spent interacting with a client in a variety of settings. The article offers practical suggestions for understanding how unconscious, biased attitudes can change through knowledge and awareness of the issue.

April 21, 2011 Rating need for care in the Ontario Common Assessment of Need: A reliability assessment

In 2008, pilot testing of the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) decision-making tool began in the community mental health sector in Ontario with the aim of standardizing, enhancing, and improving the efficacy of the client assessment process. The pilot implementation has since expanded across the province, led by the Community Care Information Management project (CCIM).