On June 11, the Ontario Ombudsman released his report condemning the use of excessive force in the province’s correctional institutes. While prison guards have the right to use physical force to manage inmates, such force should only be used appropriately and only to the degree necessary to gain control. The use of excessive force, the use of force with the intent to cause harm, or the continued use of force beyond what is required to gain control of a situation is not acceptable.
Income impacts mental health with significant implications for the provincial health system. An analysis by the Sudbury District Health Unit (SDHU) found that the most socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods in the City of Sudbury experienced almost four times the rate of mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits than the highest income areas. If all Sudburians experienced the same health as those in the highest income areas, the city would experience a reduction of over 14,000 ED visits per year.
A provincial study has found significant rates of racism or ethnicity-related discrimination experienced among its trans person participants. The study is part of Trans PULSE, a community-based research project exploring the health impacts of discrimination and exclusion on trans people in Ontario.
Researchers at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto recently announced the launch of the Ontario Birth study which will follow thousands of women through their pregnancy, and their children, to see what effects in-utero exposure has on the later development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and mental illness.
The government’s social policy focus includes continued investment in health care, education, the environment and some modest gains in social assistance in their recently released 2013 Budget.
The Government of Ontario has asked the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) to explore how Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP) can be made more accessible to people with disabilities. The work will examine how adults with developmental or other mental disabilities can participate in the program without completing an expensive competency assessment.
Community settings will be the new venue for a suite of physical therapies for seniors and eligible patients with funding from the Government of Ontario. Physiotherapy, exercise and fall prevention classes will be available in long-term care homes and in communities across Ontario.
The Ontario government has made an additional investment in the community care sector of $260 million in 2013/2014 to reduce wait times for patients needing home care services. This funding will also assist in reaching a target for patients who require nursing services and those with complex needs to receive home care within five days of their Community Care Access Centre assessment.
As part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, the Ontario government is expanding the nursing scope of practice. This will help to provide patients with access to the right care, at the right time and in the right place.
Are you an individual with lived experience of mental illness? A caregiver, friend or family member of someone experiencing mental illness? The Enabling Minds project is working towards reducing barriers for people with mental health-related disabilities, so they can participate in physical activity programs offered by recreation and fitness organizations.