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Posts by Dr. Catherine Zahn

The evidence for CAMH going tobacco free

Evidence informs much of what we do in health care, and that is true not just for clinical interventions, but also for decisions like the implementation of a new organizational policy.

Understanding the evidence base for these types of initiatives can be particularly important when the issue is a challenging one that affects our staff, our clients, and our community.

CAMH’s decision to become a tobacco-free hospital is supported by research that speaks specifically to the issues involved in such a complex decision, and is particularly supported by new evidence that has come to light in the last five or six years. Understanding the link between evidence and policy is a key element to the success of our tobacco-free initiative, so we are committed to clear communication on the subject.

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Attempted suicide: Should police ever share this personal health information?

Remember Ellen Richardson’s story? She’s a Canadian citizen who was denied entry into the United States because of her history of mental illness.

When Ms. Richardson shared her story with the media, others came forward with experiences of discrimination based on their medical histories.  The incidents highlight the pervasive prejudice faced by people with mental illness every day.

How are U.S. border guards getting access to personal health information in the first place? This question was the focus of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s (IPC) report, Crossing the Line: The Indiscriminate Disclosure of Attempted Suicide Information to U.S. Border Officials via CPIC, that was released today.

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A big thank you to all CAMH volunteers

In commemorating National Volunteer Week (April 6-12, 2014), Governor-General David Johnson described Canada as a “smart and caring nation.” I think that goes for CAMH too – fitting, given the way volunteerism is woven into the CAMH community.

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Less is More

The Globe and Mail recently quoted Dr Jeff Turnbull, former president of the Canadian Medical Association saying that “hospitals need to disappear.”  In the same article, Dr Rick Glazier, a scientist with the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences says “we are in need of a truly integrated system.” In the article, several healthcare leaders describe community focused initiatives that can improve the health of individuals and populations.  A generative message from the article is that great things are happening that will improve our healthcare system. That point’s lost when the author engages these system leaders in a straw man fallacy. Read more

Let’s talk

CAMH will participate in the third annual Bell Let’s Talk Day by generating as much talk about mental health as we can.  I believe in the power of words. Read more

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