Category: Mental Health

Conference on Sexual Violence & Intersectionality

From the Sexual Assault Support Centre 

At the Intersections– Sexual Violence & Intersectionality

At the Intersections will be a one-day conference consisting of panel discussions & workshops that will focus on increase accessibility to all survivors of sexual violence who experience intersecting marginalizations.

When: June 26th, 2017

Where: City Hall Ottawa – 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

Time: 8-4pm

Registration: Free

*Limited Space* 

Learn more here:

SWAG spotlights new avenues of research by Marjorie Silverman on carers and caregiving

SWAG wind up until Fall meeting, from Beverlee McIntosh – “Please RSVP so we know how many are coming!! Its always a nice evening of networking, socializing and education. PLEASE join us!”

THURSDAY MAY 11TH 6:30 to 9 PM


Theme: Spotlight on new avenues of Research on Carers and Caregiving

Marjorie Silverman

Speaker: Marjorie Silverman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
School of Social Work, University of Ottawa

The projects examine the everyday life experiences of carers, one from the perspective of young adults caring for older adults, and the other from the perspective of carers of people with dementia. The greater part of the presentation will focus on the experiences of carers of people with dementia in their neighbourhoods and communities. While there is growing interest in the topic of ‘dementia-friendly’ communities, there has been little Canadian research to date. What are carers’ social, relational, and practical experiences of their neighbourhoods? How are they being supported locally? Where do they go and why? Professor Silverman will talk about the innovative methods she is using to try to answer these questions. She will also share some preliminary findings, in particular as they relate to the topic of walks and the multiple purposes of local walks for carers.




Hors D’eouvres   6:30 -Talk will start shortly after 7PM

Mental health and human rights: What have human rights ever done for me?

From Christopher Snowdon, author and freelance journalist @Sectioned_, service user and (micro)blogger

You’ll often see me banging on on twitter about human rights (often using the hashtag #humanrights). Why have I got such a bee in my bonnet about human rights? Aren’t they just for journalists locked up in foreign jails, prisoners banned from voting or from being sent books, refugees? Aren’t they just about freedom of expression, torture, death row inmates? And why do they even matter if the government scraps the Human Rights Act, as we’ve heard the Conservative party propose recently? These are all important questions. … (go to rest of article below)

Human Rights Act 1988 Articles BIHR

Source: Mental health and human rights: What have human rights ever done for me?

Film on the music and stories by those who live on the streets of Toronto

From the Wrench and the Alliance to End Homelessness

April 5, 2017 7:00 PM

arts court, 2 Daly Street

LOWDOWN TRACKS: Wednesday, at Arts Court Theatre , Ottawa
Carleton Cinema Politica is proud to present, in association with the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and The Wrench, the award-winning film Lowdown Tracks on April 5th, 2017.
Inspired by depression-era folk songs, filmmaker Shelley Saywell and singer and activist Lorraine Segato set out to document the music and stories of those who live on the margins of society and bare their souls through their songs on the streets of Toronto. They have created Lowdown Tracks, an acclaimed documentary film, celebrating the music and stories of those living on the margins.
Voted top Canadian Audience Choice award at Hot Docs in 2015! 
As our homeless crisis grows, life on the margins threatens more and more people. The causes, from abuse to mental health to simple bad luck, are all touched on in the film. At its heart, Lowdown Tracks is about bringing into focus the heartache and the beautiful potential we should see when we walk by someone on the street. In the end, it is a celebration of the power of music and survival.
“Lowdown Tracks is so important because it injects hope, purpose and creates a sense of urgency to the work we’re doing and rallies people to take action. And action is the name of the game. The 20,000 Homes campaign is a catalyst for action. Lowdown Tracks is the spark.” – Tim Richter (President & CEO Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness & 20,000 Homes Campaign)
Lowdown Tracks dir. Shelley Saywell | Canada | 2015 | 86 mins
Pay-What-You-Can | donations are welcome | CDs will be available for purchase Lowdown Tracks is co-presented by the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa

Report examines the Canadian government’s campaign to legalize cannabis for recreational use

From Mike Devillaer who posted in

My report, Cannabis Law Reform: Pretense & Perils has just been released through the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research at McMaster University and St. Josephs Healthcare Hamilton.

The report examines the Canadian government’s campaign to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The government’s stated case is that the contraband trade poses a serious threat to cannabis users (including ‘kids’), and that a legal, regulated industry will provide protection. This report draws upon research on the contraband trade, our established legal drug industries (alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical), and government efforts to regulate these industries. This investigation concludes that the government’s case, on all counts, is weak. It’s depiction of the contraband cannabis trade amounts to little more than unsubstantiated, vestigial reefer madness  that was used for so long to resist reform from prohibition to decriminalization.  At the same time that hundreds of thousands of (mostly young) Canadians were receiving criminal records for minor possession-related offenses, our legal drug industries engaged in a relentless, indiscriminate, and sometimes illegal, pursuit of revenue with substantial harm to the public’s health and to the Canadian economy. Early indications warn that an ambitious cannabis industry is on a similar trajectory. These industries continue to be enabled by permissive and ineffective regulatory oversight by government.

Cannabis Law Reform in Canada: Pretense and Perils recommends immediate decriminalization of minor cannabis-related offenses. It also supports the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, but strongly asserts that the prevailing profit-driven, poorly-regulated paradigm is a dangerous one. The legalization of cannabis in Canada provides an opportunity to try a different approach – a not-for-profit cannabis authority – functioning with a genuine public health priority.

See Report here:


Book focus’ on housing, citizenship and community life for people living with serious mental illness

From CRECS enewsletter

CRECS invites you to the launch of a new book:  Housing, Citizenship, and Communities for People with Serious Mental Illness: Theory, Research and Policy Perspectives.

Edited by John Sylvestre, Geoffrey Nelson, and Tim Aubry.

Housing, Citizenship, and Communities for People with Serious Mental Illness provides the first comprehensive overview of the field. The book covers theory, research, practice, and policy issues related to the provision of housing and the supports that people rely on to get and keep their housing. A special focus is given to issues of citizenship and community life as key outcomes for people with serious mental illness who live in community housing. The book is grounded in the values, research traditions, and conceptual tools of community psychology. This provides a unique lens through which to view the field. It emphasizes housing not only as a component of community mental health systems but also as an instrument for promoting citizenship, social inclusion, social justice, and the empowerment of marginalized people. It serves as a resource for researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers looking for up-to-date reviews and perspectives on this field, as well as a sourcebook for current and future research and practice trends.

March 8, 2017. 3:30 pm to 5:30 PM
Alex Trebek Alumni Hall
– 155 Séraphin-Marion Private
RSVP here.

book info:

Core lessons on integrating Mental Health and Physical Health care across organizations

Harvey Rosenthal  of New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc.  summarized this New York state pilot of integrating Mental Health and Physical health care across organizations.  The broader context of the report can be read below the summary.

New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services

NYAPRS Note: Provider teams that participated in an eight-month state program to help them integrate primary and behavioral health care were able to improve communication between clinicians, standardize patient screenings and reduce wait times, among other positive outcomes, according to a report released by the Department of Health Thursday. They also identified a number of common challenges ranging from a lack of interest among some clinicians to a superficial understanding of data. Here’re some excerpts from the report.

Integrated behavioral and physical healthcare will be a featured topic at NYAPRS’ upcoming April 27-8 Annual Executive Seminar, “All Hands on Deck! Ensuring a Recovery Focus in a Changing Healthcare Environment” at the Albany Hilton. More program details and registration link next week.

“Street Outreach” by William Neuheisel is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Eight Lessons Learned About Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services

  1. Integration of care is about creating a whole new way of delivering care…not just adding another service. For years, service systems have been siloed because of funding, regulations and educational preparation. The change, to focus on whole health and wellness, challenges long-held assumptions and some very real contextual barriers. As teams begin to work together, to learn from each other, and to work towards a seamless experience for the patient, preconceived notions begin to break down. Being conscious of this shift in thinking has been a critical success factor in integration.
  2. Having a clear vision about why integration fits your mission will help you keep at it when the barriers arise. Vision is the stabilizing force when resistance and barriers arise. Organizations that identify the “why” of practice change, that commit to this as a way of delivering service, and make it part of the organizational mission, have the resilience necessary to overcome the resistance and barriers that will arise. The question then becomes, not “whether we will do this” but,  “how we will do this?”
  3. Recognize that culture drives practice. The transformation to an integrated practice requires creativity, courage and risk taking. In cultures where there is a top-down approach, where the contributions of everyone on the team (including the front desk, the medical assistants and others) are not recognized, the development of a team-based approach to care will be nearly impossible. A culture that recognizes the unique contribution of each team member is more likely to recognize the individuality of each patient, and to be engaging and inclusive in the care delivery system. This change requires new thinking and new practices, which in time create a culture of enhanced primary care.
  4. Data is the magnifying glass to identify whether what you are doing is working…for the patient and for your processes (i.e. how integration supports keeping people out of crisis). Healthcare is a demanding field to work in and each day brings another change and another challenge. Without a planned approach to collecting real data that reflects real practice and outcomes, the practice will continue to do the same things over and over whether they work or not. Data causes us to ask questions; it is in the questions that ideas for improvement of care emerge.
  5. Practice Champions are key and developing the overall functioning of the team cannot be overlooked. In an ideal world, everyone in a practice gets on board quickly and with enthusiasm about this change in the care delivery system. However, this is not reality and, as such, the role of early adopters and Champions becomes particularly important. The Champion is the one who keeps saying “yes we can” in the face of doubts and who continues to work toward solutions when others only identify barriers. The Champion(s) are also the people who help the team come together, who call out conflict when it exists so it can be resolved, and who keep the project moving forward.
  6. There is opportunity in understanding the effectiveness of leveraging staff outside of physicians and providers. The patient experience begins at the front door with how they are greeted, continues with how they are roomed, and ends with how they are checked out. At each step there is an opportunity to engage patients or to have them disengage. Often the staff who are involved in these key processes are overlooked and/or underappreciated. They don’t see their role as important and may not be treated as if it is. In an integrated practice they are critical in getting initial screenings completed, in communicating safety to patients, and in flagging for other staff when there may be an issue. They manage the waiting room and have a good sense of patient flow. For integrated care to be a success, these staff need to be included in huddles, in training and in process improvement.
  7. Persistence is required and tackling obstacles with small tests of change will keep you moving forward. Because there are so many moving parts with any integration effort, building a team and using data effectively to help you know what obstacle to tackle next, are key ingredients for success.
  8. Integration is a continuous journey, not a destination. One of the most critical hallmarks of a high-performing practice is the recognition that there is always more to do, always something to improve. The knowledge base in the field continues to expand, the team continues to improve, and the context changes – all of this requires continuous attention to growth, change and improvement


Details of Content of the Report

DSRIP: – Medicaid Accelerated eXchange (MAX) Series Program  (excerpts by NYAPRS)
Final Report
Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services
New York State Department of Health in collaboration with Joan King, Emmeline Kunst, essica Logozzo, Kara Kitts, Dr. Douglas Woodhouse

January 2017

Over the past 12 months, we have put an important focus on leading change at the front-line of patient care –where DSRIP becomes reality. The Department of Health has been proud to offer the opportunity for Performing Provider Systems (PPS) to participate in the Medicaid Accelerated eXchange (MAX) Series Program. The MAX Series Program has put front-line clinicians in a position to lead change. By enabling change at a grass-roots level, PPSs have been able to generate impressive results – Including:

  1. Measurable increases in screening rates and connections to services (as these relate to integrating behavioral health and primary care services)
  2. Capacity building in process improvement
  3. Development of meaningful collaborations among partners, both inside and outside of provider sites.

The MAX Series focus on the integration of behavioral health and primary care services is important as New York’s behavioral health system is large and fragmented. The publicly funded mental health system serves over 600,000 Medicaid members, representing 12% of total Medicaid members across the State. This accounts for about $7 billion in annual expenditures or 13% of New York’s total Medicaid spend. With the overall goal to reduce avoidable hospital use by 25% through transforming the New York State health care system, DSRIP will focus on the provision of high quality, integrated primary specialty and behavioral health care in the community setting with hospitals used primarily for emergent and tertiary level of services.

This report highlights the work of 10 Action Teams who participated in the first year of the MAX Series Program, which focused on the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services. Collectively, these 10 teams were comprised of over 100 clinicians, administrators and community providers. Over an eight month period, these individuals dedicated significant time to identify patients in need of behavioral health services; to develop innovative solutions to providing better care for these individuals; and to rapidly implement, test, and measure these improvements.

See the report: