Category: Uncategorized

Ottawa’s Cycle Salvation, social enterprise, individuals building community

The role of social enterprise to support people to enter employment, employment calibrated to a person’s- need, skills is unique in the continuum of Vocational Program development.  In my own practice I’ve found greater potential to actually find the best fit for an individual is through a social enterprise approach.   Maybe it is because of the structure and values in play where, while there always is a boss and a job to do, there are bigger outcomes and expectations involved.   This brief video gives a taste of such an approach.

BTW, they are always looking for bike donations.

See the video here:

Learn more about Causeway’s social enterprise efforts here


Making the Mental Health Recovery Model a Community/Hospital — two way street

Sean Kidd, Kwame McKenzie, and Gursharan Virdee, bridge our community based and recovery focused care to the hospital context.  As a front line worker I found it a refreshing relook at the challenge of

“…situate this very large care sector with a dialogue that, to date, has focused almost exclusively on outpatient and community practices. …”

Mental Health Reform at a Systems Level: Widening the Lens on Recovery-Oriented Care Sean A Kidd, PhD, CPsych, CPRP,1 Kwame J McKenzie, MD, MRCPsych,2 and Gursharan Virdee, MSc (PsyD Candidate)3

…However, should hospitals more effectively engage in efforts toward mental health reform, the challenges of transition out of hospital may be considerably reduced. First, there would be a less radical shift in the model of care, with recovery-oriented hospital care more seamlessly merging with outpatient and community care. …

The power of burnout and taking action to address macro issues

Leo Eisenstein links everyday practice to the social determents of health within organizational contexts.

The clinician who coined the term “burnout” was not a primary care physician buried under paperwork, nor an emergency physician beset by an unwieldy electronic health record. He was Herbert Freudenberger, a psychologist working in a free clinic in 1974.1 Discussing risk factors for burnout, he wrote about personal characteristics (e.g., “that individual who has a need to give”) and about the monotony of a job once it becomes routine. He also pointed to workers in specific settings — “those of us who work in free clinics, therapeutic communities, hot lines, crisis intervention centers, women’s clinics, gay centers, runaway houses” — drawing a connection between burnout and the experience of caring for marginalized patients.

In recent years, burnout has become a chief concern among physicians and other front-line care providers. But somewhere along the way, the concept was separated from its original free-clinic context. The link between marginalized patients and clinician burnout seems to have gotten lost. …


See the article:

Report on Child Poverty by 2018 Federal Ridings

This Campaign 2000 (End Child and Family Poverty) report is shared by Lynn Sherwood who explains: “Apparently the feds are supposed to publish their new child poverty strategy in the next few days.  If you follow the links you can find the child poverty rate for each federal riding in Canada.  It is over 28% here in Ottawa South.  Child poverty correlates with the number of recent immigrants, indigenous people and single parent families.  Who Knew.”

In the lead up to Canada’s first federal Poverty Reduction Strategy, Campaign 2000 reveals a disturbing picture of the magnitude of child poverty in every federal riding. The latest data paint a stark portrait of inequality in Canada with high- and low-income families living in close proximity while divided by wide social and economic gaps that leave too many children hungry, sick and stressed beyond their years.

Troublingly, this report shows that the federal ridings with the highest levels of child and family poverty are home to a higher proportion of Indigenous, racialized and immigrant communities and lone-parent led families. This correlation signals the persistence of discrimination and systemic inequalities that translate to higher unemployment, lower labour market participation rates and higher proportions of renters and people spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

The presence of child and family poverty in every riding in Canada demands strong and decisive federal action through the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Clearly, every community, every Member of Parliament and all political parties have a stake in the eradication of poverty. …

See the report here:

…“I am more than what happened to me, I’m not just my trauma”…

Shawn Ginwright’s article The Future of Healing: Shifting From Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement, provides a useful and in depth beacon of how we can take a broader focus in our alignment of services and individual practice.  It outlines that we can make trauma informed care along with the care of the individual, relevant to: families, neighborhoods and communities, shifting our focus to citizenship.  A kick, to move us to take a whole person approach to the recovery model. 

…The term “trauma informed care” didn’t encompass the totality of his experience and focused only on his harm, injury and trauma. For Marcus, the term “trauma informed care” was akin to saying, you are the worst thing that ever happened to you. For me, I realized the term slipped into the murky water of deficit based, rather than asset driven strategies to support young people who have been harmed. Without careful consideration of the terms we use, we can create blind spots in our efforts to support young people.

While the term trauma informed care is important, it is incomplete. First, trauma informed care correctly highlights the specific needs for individual young people who have exposure to trauma. However, current formulations of trauma informed care presumes that the trauma is an individual experience, rather than a collective one….

Please read the article here

A guide to Politics and Coalitions in the dance of neutrality in —contested policy making activities

Karin Ingold’s post explains the role of scientific knowledge brokering in coalitions  in Integration and Implementation Insights     In Ottawa, we have had various examples of this, be it the  Alliance to End Homelessness or  harm reduction networks.  I find it useful to reflect on Ingold’s point that suggests that the loss of neutrality in Adversarial advocacy results in, ” no possibility for knowledge brokerage exists.” and need to become “non neutral actors.”

What roles can science and scientific experts adopt in policymaking? One way of examining this is through the Advocacy Coalition Framework (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1993). This framework highlights that policymaking and the negotiations regarding a political issue—such as reform of the health system, or the introduction of an energy tax on fossil fuels—is dominated by advocacy coalitions in opposition. Advocacy coalitions are groups of actors sharing the same opinion about how a policy should be designed and implemented. Each coalition has its own beliefs and ideologies and each wants to see its preferences translated into policies.

via When are scientists neutral experts or strategic policy makers?

Supportive housing, election discussion now beyond a debate

“No matter who forms the government” how do we come together to develop supportive housing?  TVO’s The Agenda explores how all the political parties are endorsing this approach.  Steve Lurie, CMHA – Toronto –links, explains and bridges The Mental Health Commission’s – Housing First Chez-Soi with the supportive housing policy  of the Ontario Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Council. 

Lurie usefully connects how LHIN’s, municipalities, ministries and community organizations can and already do come together to work from aspiration to results. 

It is impressive to me that the supportive housing discussion during an election, has substance to galvanize to further action.


See the video here: