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Posts from the ‘Public Policy’ Category

Never Goin’ Back

CZ 2012By Catherine Zahn, President and CEO, CAMH

Earlier this week, the New York Times published an op-ed commenting on an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA). In the AMA article, three ethicists argued that the movement to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill has been a failure. The op-ed author reiterated the fact that deinstitutionalization has failed those who suffer acute mental illness – and that would be true. However, I was disappointed to hear her go on to say that rather than recalibrate supports for our patients in the community, we should go back to the olden days. Read more

Mental Illness and the Prison System

prison2

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

Why are so many people with mental illness in jail?Dr. Sandy Simpson

The problem of people with mental illness being over-represented in the criminal justice system is widely referred to as the ‘criminalisation of the mentally ill’. Why are there more people with mental health problems in the criminal justice system than there should be?

Mental illness rates are about 4 to 7 times more common in prison than in the community. The reasons for this are complex. Read more

CAMH’s Cannabis Policy Framework: Legalization with regulation

Dr. Jürgen Rehm

Dr. Jürgen Rehm

By Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH

Today CAMH released a new Cannabis Policy Framework . This document examines the evidence on the harms associated with cannabis use and, based on that evidence, recommends legalization with strict regulation as the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use. Read more

Young and bisexual? Study highlights need for more support

by Margaret Robinson, Mi’kmaq feminist scholar working on LGBTQ issues in health

visualization of social network from study

This beautiful L-word-like diagram shows the recruitment pattern for our Risk & Resilience study on “bi” mental health.

When it comes to LGBTQ health issues, bisexual people are frequently overlooked. Too often, bisexuality is dismissed as a phase or trend, and programs designed for gay, lesbian, or trans youth may not provide the support and mentorship that bisexual youth need.

A study by the CAMH Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team raises important questions about how we understand and support bisexual youth.

Our team surveyed 405 bisexual-identified people across Ontario, and compared the data about young people (between age 16 and 24) with adults (25 and older).

See: Mental Health and Substance Use among Bisexual Youth and Non-Youth in Ontario, Canada

Read more

Police and the mental health system: An opportunity for positive social change

Polic encounters with people in crisis - text from report cover

I’m publicly supporting Justice Frank Iacobucci’s report to the Toronto Police Service (TPS), Police Encounters with People in Crisis (pdf).

It’s an important step toward changing the way society thinks about, and responds to, people with mental illness.

I’m honoured to serve on the advisory committee that will assist the TPS to implement the report’s recommendations.

Jennifer Chambers of CAMH’s Empowerment Council played a prominent advocacy role in the lead-up to the report. She is so right when she says that one of the best ways to address prejudice against a group is to give them a voice and it’s very gratifying to see that people with lived experience of mental illness will be members of the implementation committee.

The tragic death of teenager Sammy Yatim last year led to this report. I share Justice Iacobucci’s view that balance is necessary in addressing the gaps brought to light by this tragedy. Read more

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