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November 11, 2010 Health Care Options website relaunched

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has re-launched a website designed to help people know more about the health care options they have in their communities. The redeveloped Health Care Options website includes tools such as: an online registry for Health Care Connect, a referral service that matches people with doctors; a searchable tool that displays wait times for surgeries offered at local hospitals, allowing people to discuss with their doctor which hospital can most quickly perform the procedure; a series of interactive videos to introduce people to some newer health care options such as nurse practitioner-led clinics and family health teams; searchable wait time information for local hospital emergency rooms; and a guide to help newcomers to Ontario navigate the province’s health care system. To access the Health Care Options website, visit www.health.gov.on.ca.

November 11, 2010 SAMI Training Program call for fellowship applications

The Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) Training Program has announced its first call for fellowship applications. SAMI is a centre of excellence for the study of the social determinants of mental illness and addictions based at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto, and includes international partners from around the world. One-year fellowships are fully funded and research-based, and will help students further develop their skills in investigating the social aetiology of mental illness. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2011, at 5 p.m. EST. For more information about SAMI and how to apply for a 2011-2012 fellowship, visit knowledgex.camh.net.

November 11, 2010 EnHANCE Ontario education materials and summary reports now available

The Enabling Collaboration in Primary and Mental Health Care and Addictions through Interprofessional Care and Education (EnHANCE) project has released educational materials and summary reports following the conclusion of the project. EnHANCE is a multi-partner initiative focusing on the development of inter-organizational partnerships and enhancing capacity for the delivery of collaborative and interprofessional care across primary care, mental health and addictions organizations. Project partners included the Association of Ontario Health Centres, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, the Ontario and Canadian Colleges of Family Physicians and the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs. Resources available include a health care leader’s toolkit, a provider’s toolkit, leader and provider education guides, and health care student education guides. For more information about the EnHANCE project, visit www.enhanceontario.ca. To access the resources, go to www.enhanceontario.ca.

November 11, 2010 Mindyourmind.ca releases technology awareness poster series for professionals

Mindyourmind.ca is a website containing information, resources and tools to help youth and young adults manage stress, crises and mental health problems. Recently, the mindyourmind Youth Street Team developed a series of posters for service providers to display in an effort to encourage professionals’ and educators’ that work with youth to use innovative and web-based social media tools — includingmindyourmindpro.ca — to enhance practice with youth clients. The Youth Street Team includes nine youth volunteers working to promote mental health awareness by planning, creating and implementing projects to increase awareness and diminish stigma. The posters are available on the mindyouthmind.ca website. For further information contact Diana Ali at diana@mindyourmind.ca or 519-858-3502.

November 11, 2010 Aboriginal women's mental health policy brief released

A new brief describing the key recommendations of the report “Kiskâyitamawin Miyo-Mamitonecikan: Urban Aboriginal Women and Mental Health,” has been produced by the Prairie Womens’ Health Centre of Excellence. The report’s four key recommendations are: to examine how cultural (relationships) and structural (policy) level changes can be made to serve and support the mental health and well-being of Aboriginal women in a changing policy climate; to conduct research on the meaning and application of an Aboriginal lens when addressing the mental health and well-being of Aboriginal women; to reframe mental health services and supports so they mirror Aboriginal women’s realities, living conditions and aspirations; and to develop mental health services and supports from evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence. To access the policy brief and the full report, visit www.pwhce.ca. See also “Study Explores Urban Aboriginal Women’s Ideas about Mental Health,” Mental Health Notes, September 16, 2010.

November 11, 2010 Health equity and social determinants of health conference call for abstracts

Abstracts are being accepted for oral and poster presentations for Ryerson University’s “Promoting Health Equity: Action on the Social Determinants of Health” conference, being held February 11-12, 2011 in Toronto. The goal of the conference is to promote health equity by taking action on the social determinants of health in the areas of: children’s rights; food security and policy; violence against women and children; reducing health disparities; vulnerable populations; health education; and interventions for healthy social change. Objectives include building community-university dialogue; exploring inter-connections between global and local perspectives on the social determinants of health; and building meaningful and measurable evaluative criteria related to promoting health equity. The deadline for abstracts is November 15, 2010. For full details on the conference and how to submit an abstract, visit www.ryerson.ca.

November 11, 2010 CMHA Ontario employment forum identifies opportunities for action

In the spring of 2010, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario hosted an employment forum to bring together employment supports providers in Ontario and the government ministries that fund them.

November 11, 2010 Creating Together releases French version of online survey

The Creating Together: Developing a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario project has released a French language version of its current online survey. Creating Together is an OMHAKEN-initiated, province-wide process to jointly develop a research agenda for mental health and addictions in Ontario.

October 28, 2010 Age Friendly Communities website launched

A new website that supports individuals, groups and communities to become more age friendly has been launched as a partnership of the Kenneth G. Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, the University of Waterloo and the Research Institute for Aging. The website presents the guiding principles of an age friendly community — livability, accountability, access, inclusion, respect, support and community engagement — and outlines the community sectors that can be engaged in the process, including housing, transportation, health and social services, employment, built environment, recreation, education, and arts and culture. Tools and resources on the website include checklists, questions to stimulate discussion and identify goals, strategies for creating age friendly communities, and examples of real-life strategies and solutions. View the new web-based tool, Age Friendly Communities: Tools for Building Strong Communities, atafc.uwaterloo.ca.

October 28, 2010 Resiliency and schools forum call for abstracts

The Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition is requesting presentation and poster submissions for its tenth annual forum, “Resiliency and the School Community.” The forum, hosted by Sudbury and District Health Unit, will take place May 12-13, 2011 in Sudbury and will bring together individuals who work to create resilient youth and school communities. Presentations should address external or internal strengths that sustain resiliency and support building life skills, building a positive school culture, building a commitment to learning at school or facilitating positive peer relationships. For more information, or to obtain an application form, e-mail Janet Spergel at spergelj@sdhu.com.