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Posts from the ‘Health Equity’ Category

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

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

Ending Homelessness in Ontario: Addressing the Mental Health and Functional Needs of the Most Vulnerable Amongst Us

HomelessnessBy Dr. Sylvain Roy, Neuropsychologist and the Lead Clinician at the CAMH’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation Assessment Service.

Today is #BellLetsTalk – a day where thousands of Canadians speak up in support of mental health and come together to address the issues associated with stigma. It’s a day when, as a society, we say no one should feel guilty or shameful when asking for help. It’s a day to imagine an Ontario in which mental healthcare is readily available to everyone when needed. We are not there yet. We are still living in a reality in which the most vulnerable amongst us, arguably the homeless, are not able to access timely mental health services, sometimes with tragic consequences. Read more

Understanding mental illness and violence

violence-hands-face

By Dr. Sandy Simpson, Chief of Forensic Psychiatry at CAMH

Dr. Sandy SimpsonThere 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

The mental health of young people of South Asian origin – a neglected group in Toronto.

141114-Blog3By 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.

Read more

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