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Posts from the ‘Community’ Category

The Role of Dietitians at CAMH

dietitians

By Christina Zavaglia, Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator, Complex Mental Illness Program

What’s the difference between a “dietitian” and a “nutritionist?”

That is one of the most common questions we dietitians get asked! And since this month is Nutrition Month, I wanted to help answer the question on who we are and what we do – especially at a large mental health hospital like CAMH.

Dietitians are highly skilled regulated health professionals that are knowledgeable about nutrition, food, and healthy eating. We have received education in science, management, population health, and human development. Dietitians work in a variety of areas including, hospitals, community health centres, research, and food corporations. Read more

Five Years at CAMH: Reflections

Service-awardsI had the honour of speaking at the CAMH Service Awards Reception last week, celebrating staff members who have served at CAMH for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. Over 3,465 years of service were recognized this year! During these events, it’s been my habit to mingle amongst the guests and ask a specific question: “What has kept you at CAMH for all this time?”

This year was different. I was proud to receive my five-year service pin, giving me a chance to reflect on the question I had asked so many others. It seemed only fair to share my own thoughts and feelings on why working with the dedicated staff at CAMH is so amazing. Those of us who work at CAMH come for many different reasons, but the reasons we stay are the same – our patients, our team and our cause.  Read more

Selling Alcohol in Grocery Stores: Hidden Risks and Alternative Options

alcohol-grocery2 By Dr. Norman Giesbrecht, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Public Health and Regulatory Policy Section In the last few days we have heard about plans to permit the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores in Ontario. For the most part, media reports have made no reference to potential health and safety risks associated with the proposed changes. You would have thought that the reporters were talking about changing the distribution of milk or orange juice in Ontario. What about the possible increase in alcohol-related incidents or negative impact on vulnerable populations — is that not relevant to the discussion? Read more

What is “Violence”?

Hands-overlap-1 By Jennifer Chambers, Empowerment Council Coordinator

CAMH has been in the news lately, getting a lot of attention on the subject of staff safety. Nobody wants violence of any kind happening here. But an interesting feature of “violence” is that those with social power tend to define it. For instance, why aren’t conditions of extreme poverty, causing hunger and homelessness discussed as “violence”? Unions, quite correctly, speak out on behalf of their members’ well-being. CAMH, as an organization, addresses safety through policy and creating an environment for practice. But what is violence in the experience of clients of CAMH? The issue of violence at CAMH from a client perspective is about an inclusive understanding of everyone’s right to be done no harm, which includes respect for people’s rights and liberties.  Read more

Changing Attitudes Since Tobacco Free Policy Launch

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By Lilian Riad-Allen, Project Manager, Tobacco Free Initiative

In my role leading the charge to go tobacco free, I am frequently asking people to share their tobacco free stories – for some this story is celebratory, for some this story is reflective and for others, this story can be nostalgic.

I was recently asked to share my own tobacco free story, and it dawned on me that I, too, had been on that transformational journey. As an undergraduate student, I completed a co-op placement at an Alzheimer’s day treatment program. As part of my role in that program, I was responsible for taking out one of the clients for a cigarette after meals. I recall that on some particularly cold days she would ask me “why are we going outside?” After raising this to my supervisors, they responded by telling me that if we failed to take her outside, she would be in withdrawal and would be difficult to manage. Read more

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