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
By Dr. Sandy Simpson, Chief of Forensic Psychiatry at CAMH
There are few issues so misleadingly linked in the public mind as mental illness and violence.
The best efforts of Hollywood, and the media’s tendency to conflate risk and illness in the context of mass shootings in the USA , leaves the public reasonably thinking that people with mental illness present a major risk to the public. They don’t, but this seems counter-intuitive to the public because of all the media images.
So what are the facts? Is there a relationship between mental illness and violence? Read more
By Gursharan Virdee, Research Analyst, Schizophrenia Division, Complex Mental Illness Program at CAMH
Toronto, the cultural mosaic, provides for a rich and diverse community life. A significant proportion of Toronto’s residents are immigrants, with 12% identifying as South Asian, 11% as Chinese and 9% as African Caribbean (City of Toronto, 2013). For some this is an environment which provides everything needed to thrive, but sadly a significant number are excluded and overlooked from these resources.
The Northwest Toronto Service Collaborative is a group of service providers and community memberswho are finding ways to improve services for children, youth and families with mental health and addictions needs in North York and City of York.
“The meaningful engagement of individuals with lived experience changes everything. True or false?”
That is the question that was asked of four members of the Northwest Toronto Service Collaborative’s Youth Advisory Group.
These young people have been offering their input into a systems change initiative in North York and City of York called Peer Positive. This initiative is working to support community service providers to engage ‘peers’ as equal partners in the design, delivery, and review of services.