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Posts from the ‘Mental Health in the Headlines’ Category

Let’s talk about suicide prevention

Pink haired man hugging an senior woman

Photo: Hugs by Halcyon Styn on Flickr, CC

The news of Robin Williams’ death has hit many people hard.

In the aftermath of what the media are reporting as a probable suicide, people have many questions about how suicide can be prevented.

Where can you get help in a crisis?

If you need help:

  • Visit your local emergency department or call 911
  • Contact a nurse at Telehealth Ontario by dialing 1-866-797-0000
  • Call the Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868
  • Call the Good2Talk support line at 1-866-925-5454 (for post-secondary students in Ontario aged 17-25)

>> See more emergency crisis and distress centres

If you’re in crisis, the CAMH Emergency Department is open 24/7.

Treatment and support are available.

>> Treatment from CAMH

>> Ontario Mental Health Helpline (open 24/7 for treatment anywhere in Ontario)​​

The myth that talking about suicide is dangerous—that raising the issue with a troubled person could give them the idea of suicide—persists. Let’s debunk it right now.

If you think someone you care about is thinking about suicide—ask them. Read more

The media is the message: The role of journalism in mental health advocacy

Last week, Cliff Lonsdale of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma introduced Mindset, a toolkit for journalists on reporting on mental health.

It was a good step forward in improving our collective understanding of mental illness, changing attitudes and eliminating the stigma and discrimination that prevent people from seeking the help they need.

The toolkit addresses the use of language, the engagement of people with lived experience, the complexities of mental disorders and the intersection of mental illness and the criminal justice system.

In today’s 24/7 news cycle it’s far too tempting to look for the easy way out, to write the quick story and to promote the sensationalized headline to captivate audiences. This poses a dilemma for a complex health issue.

Read more

Trauma on the job: No shame in asking for help

by Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Military suicides and stories of police or paramedics suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have increasingly become front-page news.

But behind the headlines, the suffering of those who come home from war zones or have treated a young child injured in a car accident only to have them die, is seen as taboo.

Despite their tough professional exteriors, these individuals carry scars which cannot be seen.

While the awareness of PTSD has increased, seeking treatment is not often an easy path for those who wrestle with recurring nightmares, avoidance and overall anxiety as a result of the trauma they faced on the job.

And one of the greatest barriers to treatment is shame.

Read more

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.

Read more

Helping victims of offenders who are not criminally responsible

Senior Scientist Stephen Kish blogs about seeking restorative justice for victims of offenders found not criminally responsible. Read more

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