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Posts from the ‘Public Policy’ Category

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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The view from the other side of the table

It’s that time of year when governments across the country are presenting budgets for the upcoming year. As someone who once worked for a Minister of Finance, I can attest to the lengthy process that precedes Budget Day. Read more

Mental illness and the law: a revealing look at the NCR process

This past weekend I found myself in a sold-out theatre taking in John Kastner’s film NCR: Not Criminally Responsible at the Hot Docs Film fest. The documentary tells the story of a man, Sean Clifton, who is found NCR after stabbing a woman in a mall parking lot. The timing of its release is perfect. We couldn’t be at a more critical time in history given the federal government’s proposed changes to the NCR defense. Read more

NCR Bill: Searching for balance

The Federal Government has announced the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act that proposes changes to the ‘Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCR)’ process.  If passed, this Act will represent a shift in how Canada views and treats a vulnerable minority of people with mental illness. Read more

Beyond bricks and mortar

For those living with mental illness and addictions, housing is so much more than bricks and mortar – it is a part of their recovery. Stable housing means independence, a chance at employment, friendships, dignity and a better quality of life. More than 500,000 Canadians living with mental illness are inadequately housed and more than 100,000 are homeless. At CAMH nearly half of our Alternate Level of Care (ALC) clients are waiting for supportive housing. This means that hospital beds become “homes” for some and are not available for others with acute needs. Read more


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