Ontario is supporting 14 projects to address post-secondary students’ access to mental health services. This announcement came just after Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 10-day tour of Ontario colleges and universities, where the main issues raised were preventing sexual violence on campus and improving mental health services for post-secondary students.
The Mental Health Act (MHA) legislation dates back to 1990 and allows individuals with mental health issues, who are at risk of causing harm to themselves or others, to be apprehended by police and detained. Most detentions last a few days and 80 percent are less than one month. However, there are rare cases (about two percent) where detentions last more than six months and individuals can be detained indefinitely as result of repeated renewals of the detention period.
The extreme cold has gripped several regions across Ontario this month, but for two homeless people in Toronto the steep drop in temperature resulted in their deaths. Earlier this month, a homeless man died in a run-down delivery van. One day later, another homeless man said to be experiencing a mental health issue, was found dead in a transit shelter wearing only a t-shirt and jeans, with a hospital bracelet around his wrist.
The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) launched a new initiative with ConnexOntario and other local partners recently to offer residents access to substance abuse and mental health services 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
Long before the Ontario budget is presented, the government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs reaches out to people and organizations across Ontario to gather information to help determine public priorities for the Budget.
As we get ready to ring in the new year, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is gearing up for some changes that will have a significant impact on the income levels of OSDP recipients. First announced in the 2014 Budget, the Ontario Government plans to eliminate three existing employment benefits for recipients of ODSP and create a new “Employment-Related Benefit” (ERB) program beginning April 1, 2015.
According to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), five percent of patients account for two-thirds of healthcare costs. These are often individuals with multiple, complex conditions. When the hospital, the family doctor, the long-term care home, community organizations and others work as a team, the patient receives better, more coordinated care. This is the vision of the 47 Community Health Links across the province.
Improvements to services for people with development disabilities are coming too slowly to help those with the greatest need, according to the 2014 annual report of Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk. The report also focused on the inadequacy of mental health training for parole and probation officers.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto has upgraded and renamed its psychiatric emergency department. The Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan Emergency Department (ED) represents the first phase of a project to expand emergency services at the hospital.
The Government of Ontario has promised to pursue legislative change to ensure that non-conviction information is not disclosed on police record checks. Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario applauds this decision and looks forward to legislative developments in the New Year.