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Posts from the ‘Health Equity’ Category

Escaping violence, finding treatment for trauma

by Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Canada is a safe haven for so many refugees fleeing violence or persecution in their home countries, but these victims of trauma often cannot escape the nightmares and haunting memories they bring with them.

Whether they have escaped civil conflict or genocide, these clients who have been traumatized can often be embarrassed because it is not something discussed in their culture. For example, in the Caribbean, the stigma and shame connected with mental illness means people feel they are not allowed to complain, not allowed to seek help because coming forward means shame on you and shame on your family.

The reality is when you don’t have support – either social or familial support – and you leave post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) untreated, it can lead to other mental health problems or addiction issues.

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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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How Race Can Affect Your Health

Gathering statistics and research on race and ethnicity makes some people feel uncomfortable. But we need data to identify and address health differences between population groups. What better place is there to investigate disparities in health than Toronto – one of the most diverse cities in the world and home to over a million people from racialized groups. Read more

Citizens Transforming Mental Health

Dr. Kwame McKenzie, Senior Scientist in Social Equity and Health Research at CAMH, blogs about one idea he believes could improve health and reduce health inequalities.

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