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Beyond Concurrent Disorders: The power of faith


By Donna Alexander, Social Worker in CAMH’s Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth (SAPACCY)

“How do you continue to do this job?”

This is a question that people often ask when they find out what I do for a living. This is not because my job poses any sort of immediate danger or risk, but rather, due to the amount of stress it can place on a person. For the past ten years I have been working in an ethno-specific service with Black youth that are concurrently disordered.   Read more

A Primer on Cross-Cultural Issues in Mental Health


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Attitudes toward mental illness vary among individuals, families, ethnicities, cultures, and countries. Cultural backgrounds can often influence individual’s beliefs about mental illness and shape their attitudes toward being mentally ill or their view of individuals suffering with mental illness. It can also be an influencing factor in how people experience stigma related beliefs about mental illness. It is therefore important to understand individual and cultural beliefs related to mental illness in order to implement effective approaches to overall assessment and care. Read more

Teaching and Learning – A LEARN and Design Exchange Collaboration


By Natalie Yiu, Occupational Therapist at CAMH’s LEARN

I work at CAMH’s Learning, Employment, Advocacy, Recreation, Network (LEARN) program, which serves clients who have experienced an episode of psychosis, and is aimed at re-integrating them back into the the community. We strive to offer clients a varied experience, through programs that are thought-provoking, challenging, and fun – while also improving their mental health and well-being.

So when Brigitte Huard, Programming Coordinator at Design Exchange, approached me about doing a community outreach program with LEARN to enhance access to arts and design, it was a dream come true! Read more

Using Creative Arts to Train Haitian Spiritual Leaders on Therapy for “Crooked” Thoughts


By Michael-Jane Levitan, Special Advisor, Office of Transformative Global Health

Kwochi, the Creole word for “crooked,” can be used to describe problematic thinking; an underlying principle of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This expression was heard many times during a recent research-based CBT training in Haiti and perfectly captures how this therapy can help to “straighten” unhealthy thought patterns. Read more

Seeing Being Scene


Steven Lewis stands in front of his piece, “Waiting” at the Being Scene art exhibit

With thanks to Steven Lewis, Visual Artist in Residence at Workman Arts

Variety. Passion. Honesty.

Steven Lewis uses these three simple, succinct words to describe the latest artwork featured at Workman Arts’ Being Scene – an annual juried exhibit that is currently on display at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Steven currently serves as the Visual Artist in Residence at the multidisciplinary art and mental health organization, of which he’s been a member for four years. Read more

All Eyes on Mental Health & Hip Hop


By Akeem Sule and Becky Inkster, Co-Founders of HIP HOP PSYCH, Cambridge, U.K.

Hip-hop and mental health have a lot more in common than meets the eye. Since the genre’s conception in the early 1970s, hip-hop artists have delivered loud-and-clear messages of personal struggles and strengths, as clearly captured in the recent film Straight Outta Compton. Hip-hop culture embraces self-expression and recognizes the daily trials and tribulations that many people face – the pressures that challenge their state of mind. Read more

Housing is a mental health issue


By Roslyn Shields, Senior Policy Analyst at CAMH

Did you know that over 500,000 Canadians with mental illness have inadequate housing? That over 100,000 are homeless?

Every day thousands of people with mental illness sleep in shelters or on the streets. Some live in housing that is unsafe and in disrepair. Others are stuck in hospital because no housing matches their needs. Read more

Building Resilience


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

It can be difficult when dealing with every day stressors. Things like work, home or car problems can be overwhelming and challenge us to find ways to cope or function each day. That’s why it is important to find healthy and adaptive strategies to help us cope more effectively and to deal with these day-to-day life stressors. But how do we do this? Read more

If You Ask Me


By Olivia Heffernan, NYAC Peer Facilitator

I don’t know about you, but when I disclose that I have mental illness to people that aren’t in the mental health field, I receive a few different reactions. Granted, most people keep their words neutral, but their faces and attitudes give it away. Read more

Transition Impossible?


By Olivia Heffernan, NYAC Peer Facilitator

Ah, back-to-school season. A time for new shoes, the gradual transition to wearing pants and a time to get a haircut.

If you’re lucky enough to be headed back to the same school or same job that you’ve been at before, thank your lucky stars. You know the routine, you probably know most of the people, and you have a sense of familiarity.

This post goes out to all those who are starting something new. To those who are transitioning, I’m thinking about you. Read more

Opioids, legal or not, can kill; It’s time for action


By Dr. Peter Selby, Chief of Addictions and Director of Medical Education at CAMH

In the past few weeks, the media has covered a spate of tragic deaths from overdose due to fentanyl, a very potent opioid, some 50 times stronger than morphine. What’s more is that new research shows skyrocketing prescription rates and illegally produced opioids are accessible across the country.

Overdose deaths are needless and entirely preventable; it’s time to take action.

Read more

Keeping the Faith: One student’s experience with spirituality and mental health


By Christal Huang, CAMH NYAC member, and Joanna Liscio

In the history of defining the concept of health, mental health has become an increasingly important part of the conversation. Fortunately, different methods of coping with mental illness and maintaining mental health have been a product of these discussions. This has allowed people to explore and use what works best for them. A faith- or spirituality-based approach to coping with mental illness is one of these methods. Despite its common use, there are many myths and misconceptions. Read more

A Thank you, Farewell, and Best Wishes to Psychology Interns

Back (left to right) – Dr. Donna Ferguson (Practice Lead); Robert Enoch; Leigh Henderson; Sarah Dermody; Katie Fracalanza; Tera Beaulieu; James Watson-Gaze; Dr. Sean Kidd (Discipline Chief) Front (left to right) – Dr. Niki Fitzgerald (Training Director); Danielle Blackmore; Kaley Roosen; Nina Vitopoulos; Jasmin Dhillon; Terra Dafoe; Bramilee Dhayanandhan

Back (left to right) – Dr. Donna Ferguson (Practice Lead); Robert Enoch; Leigh Henderson; Sarah Dermody; Katie Fracalanza; Tera Beaulieu; James Watson-Gaze; Dr. Sean Kidd (Discipline Chief)
Front (left to right) – Dr. Niki Fitzgerald (Training Director); Danielle Blackmore; Kaley Roosen; Nina Vitopoulos; Jasmin Dhillon; Terra Dafoe; Bramilee Dhayanandhan

By Dr. Niki Fitzgerald, Psychologist at CAMH

The psychology leadership would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 12 2014-2015 APA-CPA psychology interns who are in the midst of wrapping up their internship year.

The psychology internship is one of the final steps taken before students complete their doctoral degrees. Competition for these 12 spots is stiff; 134 students applied for the upcoming academic year. As a result, the interns are an exceedingly skilled group who make a significant contribution to the rotations fortunate enough to have them. Read more

Increasing Social Support for Bisexual Women who use Cannabis

cannabis-Jeremiah VandermeerBy Margaret Robinson, PhD. Affiliate Scientist in the Social and Epidemiological research department of the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health

I recently led a research project that shows that one in three bisexual women have used cannabis in the past year, a rate three to five times the provincial average.

While US and Australian studies have also identified spiking rates of cannabis use by bisexual women, no print or media campaigns have addressed this issue yet. We’re hoping to create such a campaign, rooted in the lived experience of bisexual women, with funding from Women’s College University’s Women’s Xchange program. Read more

Social Sharing: How NYAC is engaging youth online in a positive way


By Tyson Herzog & Olivia Heffernan, NYAC Peer Facilitators, and Janice Lam and Maree Rodriguez, NYAC Committee Members

Ah, the internet. We’re all familiar with the warnings: violence, porn, chaos, trolling and misinformation. Parents beware! Watch your kids! Shield their eyes! Cover their ears!

We’ve all heard of the dangers: the horrors of sending n00dz on SnapChat and the consequences when private, intimate photo become public, the bullying that happens via Twitter and Facebook, and the growing trend of young people measuring their self-worth on how many ‘likes’ they get on Instagram.

Most young people don’t disagree with the messages behind these warnings. Bullying is terrible, both on the internet and IRL. It’s definitely not okay to share nude pictures of another person with their permission. And a human’s worth is certainly not dependent on their popularity on social media. Read more

No Ordinary Game

OPP Volunteering2

From L to R: Sergeant Michael Gayos, Special Constable Richelle De Belchior, Special Constable Krista Hatfield, and Special Constable Ryan-Blair Smith.

By Bill Markakis, Volunteer Coordinator, Corporate Volunteer Program

If you were passing by the CAMH Sandi and Jim Treliving Gymnasium recently, you probably would have seen a very lively game of basketball being played. You would’ve noticed a lot of laughs, smiles, teamwork, good competition and some very tired faces. What you may not have noticed was the community building being done as this was no ordinary game of basketball. Clients and staff from Units 3-1, 3-2, 1-3 and the Concurrent Youth Unit joined officers from the Queen’s Park OPP Detachment as volunteers from the Corporate Volunteer Program. Read more

International Beer Day: Some cold, bracing facts


Today is International Beer Day – a day when people can get together to share in their appreciation for beer. And let’s face it – Canadians love beer. It’s a perception ingrained in our culture, proudly displayed in advertisements, and supported by statistics. We also happen to be pretty good at brewing it too.

However, statistics also indicate that Canadians are exposed to higher levels of alcohol-related harm, thanks to consumption rates that are about 50% more than the global average. In fact, 1/3 of Ontarians experience harm due to someone else’s drinking.

So as we celebrate the summer, we hope you can help ensure that people are celebrating safely and responsibly. Share the facts, know your limits, check out some of these tools, and stay safe! Read more

Quitting Smoking Can Be Made Easier


By Dr. Laurie Zawertailo, Clinical Scientist and Cherry Zhao, Graduate Student at CAMH

Do you want to quit smoking? There are many reasons why people make this decision, and all of them are valid and personal. Whether it’s to improve your health, to save money, to make your loved ones happy, to make yourself happy, a combination of these things or something else entirely, becoming tobacco-free may be an important step in your life. Read more



By Dr. Kwame McKenzie, Medical Director of Underserved Populations at CAMH and CEO, Wellesley Institute

Imagine you are a parent who has to pick their child up from daycare. It closes at 6 pm and you have to pay a high fee for every minute you are late. You work 30 minutes away. You leave at 5:15 pm as usual, but you get stuck in traffic. There is no getting out of it. Every minute you sit there, you become more and more anxious and angry. You imagine how much it will cost, how annoyed the daycare staff will be, how embarrassed you will be and how your child will feel because they are the last one to be picked up.

Or imagine you are in a car on your way to work. You were going to be on time for your meeting but… traffic congestion. Your boss will be there on time but you will not. While you are sitting there, you wonder what that will it look like and how will it affect your future? Read more

Tackling Transit Stress


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Earlier this week we discussed stress involved in driving through traffic. And while being stuck in the car for long periods of time can be frustrating, there’s something to be said about having the personal space, comfort, and peace that a car can give commuters. But what about the rest of us? According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 14 per cent of Ontarians commuted to work via public transit. Unfortunately, Ontario also has some of the longest commute times in the country. As transit users, how can we deal with stress and frustration while sharing the same space with hundreds of others who are in the same situation? Read more

Navigating Through Traffic-Related Stress


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Coping with traffic-related stress is not always easy. With the Pan Am Games underway, there was concern that addition of or changes to existing HOV lanes would further increase the amount traffic on the roads. And while recent surveys suggest that only ten per cent of drivers are experiencing a serious disruption due to the games, it can still be challenging for those who drive long distances. So how do we deal with all of this additional stress? Read more

Eat like a champ: The importance of nutrition in exercise


Now that the Pan Am games have officially begun, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the many sporting events that make up the games. And with all the excitement, coupled with the hot summer weather, we may all be inspired to step-up our exercise regimen or take up a new sport. While elite athletes such as those participating in games will have unique nutritional requirements, those of us who like to enjoy an active lifestyle can also benefit from healthy eating and proper hydration. Healthy eating can help you stay energized and ensure you have enough fuel to make the most out of your workout and sporting activities. Read more

Carrying the Torch

Pan Am Torch

By Dr. Catherine Zahn, President & CEO of CAMH

Coming into the CAMH grounds bearing the Pan Am Torch was a moving experience for me.  The crowd lining the entryway; our own Dr. David Goldbloom emceeing the event; the Archway Singers behind him on the stage – it was overwhelming. Those of you who were in attendance know that I could barely speak! I think it was the hopeful symbolism of lighting the torch, protecting it on its journey and bringing that emblem of hope right into CAMH that moved me so profoundly.

Ten years ago CAMH would not have been considered a destination for such a public event. This is just one more piece of evidence that our work is making a difference; evidence that work to advance the social cause of mental health is creating positive change. Read more

Evidence Based Treatment of Depression

distress_October-15-2013By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Some people diagnosed with depression may have difficulty with task performance – a depressed mood can make it hard to manage work responsibilities, including sustaining effort over time and dealing with change. Read more

Thinking Outside the Box in Anorexia Nervosa Research

weightscaleBy Laura Mackew, Research Assistant, Clinical Research

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious and often life threatening psychiatric condition, with a broad spectrum of impact, affecting those diagnosed as well as their family members and friends. It is a very complex disorder, characterized by behavioral and psychological disturbances. Behaviourally there is disturbed eating behavior such as severe caloric restriction, and in some cases, binge eating and purging and compulsive exercising. Psychological disturbances include high levels of obsessionality, perfectionism. and body image disturbance as well as depression and anxiety. Read more

Gender Identity and Indigenous People


Image courtesy of Re:Searching for LGBTQ Health

By Margaret Robinson, PhD. Affiliate Scientist in the Social and Epidemiological research department of the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health.

In literature about gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) health it’s increasingly common to see ‘2’ or a ‘2S’, which stands for ‘two spirit.’ The term recognizes those of us who are LGBTQ and who are also strongly connected to our Indigenous identities. Many of our Indigenous cultures recognized people who expressed gender or sexuality differently, and such people often had special cultural responsibilities.

While mental health practitioners and community workers are increasingly encouraged to adopt culturally-based treatment approaches with Indigenous clients, little is known about two-spirit people or our perspectives on mental health. Read more

This is Our Community


By Jenna MacKay, MA, Qualitative Researcher, team member of Re:searching for LGBTQ Health and a Master of Social Work candidate at University of Toronto.     

Research in both Canada and the US has shown that bisexuals have poorer mental health than heterosexuals, gays and lesbians. Experiences of discrimination towards bisexual people in heterosexual and gay and lesbian communities is stressful. Indeed, bisexual stereotypes and prejudice are all too common.

I am part of a dedicated team of researchers and bisexual community members looking to make a difference. Over the last seven years, our team at CAMH has collaborated with Rainbow Health Ontario and other community partners on projects related to bisexual mental health. Read more

Pioneering a measure of experiences shaping bisexual women’s mental health


By Margaret Robinson, PhD. Affiliate Scientist in the Social and Epidemiological research department of the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health.

Across Canada and the United States, bisexual women like me consistently report significant mental health disparities such as higher incidences of mood and anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm compared to our straight and lesbian peers. What we don’t yet understand is why this is the case. Read more

Word on the Street: Pride Week 2015

WOTS Pride Banner edit

Pride Week 2015 has officially begun and CAMH is proud to be celebrating diverse sexual and gender identities, histories, and cultures.

We asked CAMH employees – some members of the LGBTIQ community, others not — to share their thoughts on the importance of celebrating LGBTIQ Pride in the workplace. Here’s what they had to say: Read more

We Must Remember Homeless LGBTQ2S Youth During Pride

safe-bed_A&JBlogBy Dr. Alex Abramovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, Social & Epidemiological Research Department

“I can’t say who I am unless you agree I’m real.” – Amiri Baraka

Is there some part of you that has been denied or ignored? A fundamental part of you that you’ve been asked or forced to hide, or that someone has refused to see? Have you ever tried to access health care or housing services only to be told that your needs cannot be accommodated and that you in fact do not exist? If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or two-spirit (LGBTQ2S), the answer to at least one of these questions is likely YES. Read more

LGBTIQ Pride: The Importance of Celebrating Diversity


By Dion Carter, Manager of Diversity and Equity at CAMH

The ability to celebrate Pride in a public forum, to me, reflects an acceptance of who I am by members of the broader community. I remember my very first Pride event in Chicago many years ago. I was in awe and felt empowered to be in the presence of so many other LGBT+ people and allies. There was a great sense of liberation and safety that I had never felt before. It was an excellent display of courage and there was a presence that said: “we’re here and we’re not going to hide anymore.” Read more

A Home Run for Clients at CAMH


Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to provide inspiration and instill a sense of joy in people. A small gesture, a token of friendship, a few brief words of affirmation, or even the simple act of hanging out with a person can be all it takes to show that someone is loved.

On June 9, we had the pleasure of welcoming Toronto Blue Jays players Liam Hendriks, Aaron Loup, Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez, as well as Blue Jays President Paul Beeston, to our Client BBQ – an event made possible by the CAMH Foundation Gifts of Light program. Read more

Work With Purpose: My Experience Interning at CAMH

Mike taking the CPRS Passport to PR tour as a student at Centennial College. (Source: Peter May Photography)

Mike taking the CPRS Passport to PR tour as a student at Centennial College. (Source: Peter May Photography)

By Mike Hajmasy, a Centennial College postgraduate student who joined CAMH as an intern in Public Affairs.

I’ve always known that to be satisfied, I need to be in a purposeful, passionate environment where I feel like what I’m doing serves a cause bigger than myself – and that is exactly how I feel being at CAMH.
Read more

Celebrating Darkness to Light the Healthy Way

With thanks to Christina Zavaglia, Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator, Complex Mental Illness Program

CAMH’s first ever Darkness to Light event is right around the corner, and people across the country are preparing to stay up all night in support of mental health. As you plan your event, there are a couple of  things to keep in mind, so that you’re celebrating in a safe and healthy manner. Read more

Thoughts on APA 2015

APA-welcomeBy Dr. Bruce Pollock, Vice-President, Research at CAMH

“There is no health without mental health”

This fact, which resonates with what we believe at CAMH, was made by Dr. Renee Binder, incoming president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to attendees at the APA’s Annual Meeting in Toronto last week. Read more

A Beautiful Mind


By Dr. Sean Kidd, Head of the Psychology Service of CAMH’s Schizophrenia Services and Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry

This past Saturday the brilliant mathematician Dr. John Nash and his wife were killed in a car accident on the New Jersey turnpike. Dr. Nash was 86 years old. His work in mathematics was internationally recognized, earning him prestigious awards such as the Nobel and Abel prizes. Despite such accomplishments, he is far better known as the inspiration for the Sylvia Nasar biography ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the 2001 film of the same name starring Russell Crowe.

This film, inspired by his life, stands still as one of a very small number that has the experiences of schizophrenia as a primary focus. Read more

True Colors Shine Through at The White House


By Dr. Alex Abramovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, Social & Epidemiological Research Department

The True Colors Fund in New York City, co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, works towards ending LGBTQ youth homelessness. My colleagues at the True Colors Fund have persistently tried to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, America’s only Federal law that funds services for youth experiencing homelessness, they have also worked hard to ensure that the Act recognizes the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth. Read more

Stigma – Overcoming that last taboo


By Elizabeth Scott, an independent, Toronto-based writer and editor

I know what stigma feels like – frustrating, maddening, depressing. There really are no positive words to describe its impact on people and families that deal with mental health concerns.

I’ve pushed through stigma’s oppression on many occasions. Like an ugly shawl, stigma feels like a shroud, something embarrassing; a disgrace. It’s an awful word that evokes awful responses that are often based on misinformation and myth. Its effects are a modern day tragedy. Read more

Opening Doors, Exploring Walls and Breaking Barriers at CAMH

DoorsOpenBy Sandra Luccisano, CAMH Community Ambassador

One of the hats I am privileged to wear as a Community Ambassador in our First Impressions program is tour leader. Most people are unaware that we lead tours of our Queen Street Site almost every week of the year. Tour groups are primarily high school students who combine a tour of the grounds with a presentation from Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest but we also host adult students from various schools, programs and disciplines. Read more

Strong Medicine – the Psychiatrist of Tomorrow

CZ 2012By Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of CAMH

Originally published on Healthy Debate.

Mental health leaders have the opportunity for courageous change as they assemble in Toronto this week. Psychiatrists from around the world will be attending the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting, and I hope that there will be serious and thought provoking conversation on the future of the specialty. As a neurologist, new to the mental health sector, I have developed some strong opinions on the topic, and I see an opportunity for psychiatrists to transform their specialty towards better patient care, a more robust mental healthcare system and a more equitable society. Read more

Bread on the Brain – May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month


By Kelly Matheson, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Complex Mental Illness Program

Going gluten-free has become increasingly popular, with books like “Wheat Belly” and celebrity endorsements encouraging a gluten-free diet for weight loss, clear skin and overall good health. However for the 1 in 133 Canadians with a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, avoiding gluten is an absolute necessity to live a long and healthy life.

The Dietitians at CAMH are knowledgeable and the go-to resource about various sensitivities and allergies related to food that our patients may have. Since May is national Celiac Disease Awareness Month, the Dietitians at CAMH want to help you understand what Celiac Disease is, how it is different from gluten sensitivity and what “going gluten free” actually means. Read more

CAMH: With nurses every step of the way

Nursing Blog

By Christine Butler, Nurse Educator, Professional Practice Office

As I was reflecting about what to write in this blog I was thinking about my nursing career. The theme of Nursing week 2015 is Nurses: With you every step of the way. I began to think about my journey in nursing, and how CAMH has been with me throughout my nursing career. Read more

Positive Mental Health


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

What is positive mental health and why should we focus on it? According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental health is more than the absence of a mental health condition or illness; it is a positive sense of well-being, or the capacity to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. Read more

Changing the Face of Boys and Men’s Mental Health in First Nations Communities


By Dr. Julie George, a member of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation (KSPFN), Project Scientist in CAMH’s Social and Epidemiological Research Department and the Mental Health, Addiction and Violence Support Program Manager at the Health Services Department in her home community.

As a member of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation and as a service provider, I am witness to the mental health challenges that boys and men face.

As a researcher, I am also part of an innovative new project to address these challenges, a project that is part of a paradigm shift in Aboriginal research and program development. This new approach directly involves Aboriginal people in defining problems, conducting research, and facilitating solutions. Read more

Creating a Positive Environment Through Art


Work in progress…

By Paul Byron, artist, art therapist and Creative Arts Professional Volunteer at CAMH

CAMH’s Forensic Unit was an intriguing and potentially challenging assignment. Unlike other wards, forensic clients are involved at various levels in court-ordered processes and are involuntarily detained. The ambient mood has often reflected an awareness of this, and it is within this context that we began to flesh out a basis for the creation of a community mural. Read more

Mental Illness and ‘Community’: Oft used, seldom defined, and poorly understood

Community-MI2By Dr. Sean Kidd, Head of the Psychology Service of CAMH’s Schizophrenia Services and Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry

The term “community” is a central concept in mental health reform and recovery conversations. These ideas are repeatedly referenced in documents such as the World Health Organization Mental Health Action Plan and the Canadian Mental Health Strategy. Clinicians routinely reference clients “getting back into the community”, and people affected by mental illness will often discuss being involved in a range of communities as key to the process of recovery. Read more

Changing attitudes towards mental illness


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

I have often heard from my patients that being diagnosed with depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder means “I am broken,” or that “others will think that I am weak and cannot function or do my job.” These beliefs are incorrect and harmful to one’s mental health. How do we change attitudes related to mental illness so people can feel more comfortable coming forward and saying they need help? Read more

Traditional healers using apps to treat psychosis

SnapshotofBlogBy Sireesha Bobbili, Special Advisor/Project Coordinator, Office of Transformative Global Health, Social & Epidemiological Research, CAMH
Infographic by Erin Lee, Communications Intern, Office of Transformative Global Health, CAMH

Here’s a recap of our project:

The Office of Transformative Global Health at CAMH is piloting a project in rural Tanzania. It targets traditional healers who treat psychosis, a condition that affects approximately 3.9% of the population.

Cultural beliefs and accessibility to services are two reasons why Tanzanians go to traditional healers for their health care needs. However, without proper attention to biological symptoms, a condition like psychosis can worsen and reach chronic stages leading to severe long-term disability. Read more

Taking Back “Experimentation”

PSSP Innovation

Northwest Toronto Service Collaborative’s Design Jam

By Josina Vink

It’s time to reclaim experimentation to enable people-powered innovation in mental health.

Mental health systems in Canada have a dark history with experimentation. In the 20th century, we tested some horrific therapies on people with “mental disorders” including hydrotherapy, insulin coma, and the medical surgery of lobotomy.  Because of the legacy of these tests and studies, there is some resistance to experimentation in the context of mental health today. Read more

Thinking about Drinking


By Jamie Lynn Page, National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC) member

You’re an adult now. You’ve graduated high school and are entering college or university, you’re at (or close to) the legal age in your province, and you may be living in a dorm with roommates! Sounds great, right? This can indeed be one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life. However, it can also be one of the most stressful- and with stress often comes a desire to cope through substance use. One of the ways these are manifested most commonly for Canadian post-secondary students is through alcohol. During Alcohol Awareness Month 2015, we want to talk about it. Read more


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