The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released its annual report for 2010–2011. Titled “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” this report not only reviews the past fiscal year, it also celebrates the 50-year anniversary of the founding of the OHRC.
As part of the broader Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario initiative (see the May 5th issue of Mental Health Notes for more information about Creating Together), in September 2010, OMHAKEN and Rainbow Health Ontario partnered to sponsor the first mental health and addictions research consultation with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in Ontario.
As of July 25, 2011 Ontarians can now apply for the province’s new government-issued photo identification (ID) card. The new photo ID card can be obtained at one of 21 ServiceOntario locations across the province and will be available at all locations by 2012.
A coroner’s inquest into the death of Pickering, Ontario teen Gleb Alfyorov finds that the province needs a treatment centre outside of jails where youth can receive court-ordered psychiatric evaluations. Alfyorov was court-ordered by a judge to be assessed for criminal responsibility, based on a previous assault of hitting his older sister. While awaiting a mental health assessment in the Syl Apps Youth Centre, he hung himself with his shoelaces.
The ODSP Action Coalition has responded to the Social Assistance Review Commission. They want a revised social assistance system that provides dignity, adequacy (rates based on rational criteria), and inclusion of all recipients within a human rights framework.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has developed a new provincial guideline for police records checks.
Public Health Ontario (PHO) is the new name for the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP). Effective June 14, 2011 the name and tag line, “Partners for health” reflect the agency’s role in protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and its philosophy of collaboration with partners to achieve shared goals.
A cost-benefit meta-analysis on transitional housing for men leaving incarceration was released in April of this year by the John Howard Society of Toronto. The report examines Transitional Housing Supports (THS) for two types of prisoners: homeless ex-prisoners and those required to abide by specific conditions outlined by the courts because they pose a threat to society (known as the “810 Group”). The analyses of the two groups were based on financial and societal outcomes of men having THS versus those who did not.
On June 15, 2011 Health Canada announced that it will require antipsychotic medications to carry new label warnings of potential risks to newborns. The move follows a similar decision by USA officials in February 2011.
A new report developed by the Consumer Services Advisory Committee of Canadian Mental Health Association, Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch (CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin Branch) identifies consumer survivor initiatives (CSIs) as the gateway to other health and social services. This position was stated in a report to the North East Local Health Integrated Network (NE LHIN) that detailed the future direction proposed for CSIs in this region of Ontario.