| CMHA NEWS CMHA BC Launches New Program to Support Emotional Well-Being of People with Chronic Conditions [back to top]
CMHA BC is excited to launch Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health, a new two-year program to help people with chronic physical conditions better manage low mood. The program will be delivered in close collaboration with primary care practices and is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Health. Bounce Back will begin providing service in 100 Mile House, Kamloops, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Vernon and surrounding areas starting July 1, exclusively through referrals from primary care practitioners. Other BC communities will introduce Bounce Back in the fall of this year and spring 2009. CMHA estimates that close to 50,000 people will be able to access Bounce Back interventions once the program is fully in place. For more on the program and official launch, read our Featured Program section, or visit www.bouncebackbc.ca. Mind Matters Survey – Enter To Win a $75 Gift Certificate! – Draw closes July 31 [back to top]
Here’s your chance to tell us what you think about Mind Matters! We sincerely hope you find Mind Matters to be a valuable resource for mental health news from around BC and beyond, and with your help we hope to make it more useful for you. Please help us improve Mind Matters by completing our short survey. It should take about 5 minutes of your time and you will have the opportunity to enter a draw for a $75 gift certificate to treat yourself at a Canadian restaurant, store or spa of your choice that offers gift certificates. Only participants with a Canadian address are eligible for the draw. All survey results are completely anonymous and information collected will not be sold or used for any other reason than improving our free e-news service. The draw for the gift certificate will close July 31, 2008 and the winner will be contacted by August 8. Click Here to take survey. CMHA Seeking Nominations to National Board of Directors – Due July 4 + August 1 [back to top]
CMHA National is currently accepting nominations for two Directors-at-large positions to be elected to a 3-year term on the National Board of Directors of CMHA. Although CMHA experience is not a prerequisite, current CMHA membership is required. The Nominating Committee is encourages people from diverse backgrounds to apply, and is committed to a National Board that encourages participation from people with personal experience and their families, and reflects the cultural, linguistic and demographic diversity of our country. The first deadline for nominations is July 4, 2008. The second deadline for nominations, which must be accompanied by 10 member signatures, is August 1. Please contact the CMHA National office at (613) 745-7750 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request a nomination package. Making Waves for Change – CMHA National Conference, Nova Scotia – August 22 + 23 [back to top]
The 2008 Canadian Mental Health Association National Conference, “Making Waves for Change: From Surviving to Thriving” will be hosted by CMHA Nova Scotia. The main themes for the 2008 conference are Prevention, Recovery and Advocacy. Workshop topics related to the themes include: postpartum depression, suicide, housing and cross-cultural mental health; family support groups, mental health from a chronic disease perspective and concurrent disorders; and youth advocacy and raising the profile of mental health issues. CMHA BC Division will also be presenting on the new Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health program to support emotional well-being of people with chronic health conditions. The event will also feature “Youth Speak”, an interactive presentation on mental health and illness aimed at high school students that is written, designed and presented by young people with mental illness. Cost: $395 for both days or $200/day; Early Bird: $295 for both days (ends June 27). For more information and registration, visit www.cmha.ca or www.novascotia.cmha.ca. Funding Renewed for CMHA’s Routes to Work Employment Project [back to top]
Human Resources and Social Development Canada has renewed funding for the 10th straight year for Routes to Work, the CMHA National’s employment program for people with mental health disabilities. By March 2009, Routes to Work will have assisted 215 people across Canada to secure and maintain education and employment. The program is currently available in eight locations, including one location in Williams Lake BC. Find out more at www.cmha.ca. CMHA Simon Fraser Branch Seeks Candidates for Executive Director Position [back to top]
CMHA Simon Fraser Branch has been a service provider for people with mental illness since 1958, serving the communities of New Westminster, Maple Ridge, Tri-Cities and Pitt Meadows. The branch is currently seeking an Executive Director for a 1-year term starting July 1, 2008. The preferred candidate will demonstrate the following qualities, skills and experience: open, consultative and supportive leadership; administration and communication skills; ability to gain credibility, respect, and acceptance from employees, directors, donors and other stakeholders; operating in a union environment and with a board of directors; non-profit or social service experience; fiscal management; event management; community development; knowledge of mental health issues and psychosocial rehabilitation; holds a relevant degree. Interested candidates are invited to send their resume to email@example.com. CMHA Vancouver/Burnaby Branch Seeks Volunteers for Partnership Program [back to top]
CMHA Vancouver/Burnaby Branch’s Volunteers in Partnership Program (VIP) is looking for adults who are interested in providing one-on-one support to a person with mental illness. The volunteers will help someone improve their skills, increase their independence and explore new activities. This is a great opportunity to volunteer in the community with support and guidance from the program coordinator. The commitment required is 2-4 hours a week for a minimum of 6 months. For more information contact the VIP Program Coordinator at 604-872-4902 ext 290 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Illuminate’s Grape Crushing Fundraiser for CMHA Delta Branch – July 5 [back to top]
Illuminate Restorante in Delta is generously donating the proceeds from their Grape Crushing Festival to support the youth and community programs of CMHA Delta Branch. Young, old and in-between are invited to come stomp the grapes while sampling wine and appetizers. CMHA Delta Branch thanks Illuminate Restorante for their generosity and commends them for their commitment to give back to the community that supports them. Suggested donation is $5 per person. From 1 – 3pm in the parking lot at Illuminate Restorante, 1077 – 56 Street, Tsawwassen. For details on the location visit www.illuminaterestorante.com. North Shore Health Lecture Series [back to top]
The weekly Health Lecture Series organized by CMHA North and West Vancouver Branch meets on the 2nd floor of the John Braithwaite Community Centre at 145 West 1st Street in North Vancouver (between Chesterfield and Lonsdale Avenue). All lectures start at 7pm. Admission by donation. For more information please phone 604-987-6959 or visit www.northwestvancouver.cmha.bc.ca.
June 25 – Past Lives: You Can Heal the Present By Looking Into The Past Vancouver/Burnaby Branch Special Events [back to top]
CMHA Vancouver/Burnaby Branch’s Recreation Services Program provides opportunities for adults who are living with mental illness to participate in recreation and experience the benefits of leisure. The following special events take place at or depart from the Vancouver Recreation Office at 175 West Broadway. Please call 604-872-3148 to register for two of the following events. Please note that residents of Vancouver will be given priority for registration.
June 20 – Vancouver Canadians Baseball
June 23 – Kwong Chow Congee Lunch and Walk
June 27 – Jazz Festival Afternoon
FEATURED CMHA PROGRAM:
Five Interior-region branches of the CMHA — 100 Mile House, Kamloops, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Vernon — are the first to launch a new two-year program to help people with chronic physical conditions better manage low mood. The program, Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health, will be delivered in close collaboration with primary care practices and is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Health, first announced during Mental Health Week last year. Around one in three British Columbian adults suffer from chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes or heart disease, and about a third of this group are affected by low mood or anxiety problems. “We’re so pleased to introduce Bounce Back because we know it can really help people living with chronic conditions feel better and get more out of life,” says Bev Gutray, Executive Director of CMHA’s BC Division. “It’s not uncommon for people with chronic conditions to feel anxious or depressed. Added on top of an existing health condition, these feelings can lead to worsening health, impacts on daily living, and an overall lower quality of life. We see Bounce Back as providing tools to help people ‘reclaim their health.'” Bounce Back focuses on self-help skills to improve emotional well-being. The program offers two forms of help. The first is a DVD which provides practical tips on managing mood, healthy living, building confidence and activities, and problem solving. The second is a guided self-help program to build on the techniques from the DVD, with telephone support from a community ‘coach.’ The whole program can be completed in several weeks and is done from the comfort of a person’s home. “We know from the research that the self-help techniques in Bounce Back work. We also know guided self-help works even better. One of the most exciting parts of Bounce Back is how community agencies, in partnership with health authorities and primary care, are directly involved in supporting and empowering individuals to acquire skills to improve their mood and quality of life,” says Gutray. Bounce Back will begin providing service in 100 Mile House, Kamloops, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Vernon and surrounding areas starting July 1, exclusively through referrals from primary care practitioners. Other BC communities will introduce Bounce Back in the fall of this year and spring 2009. CMHA estimates that close to 50,000 people will be able to access Bounce Back interventions once the program is fully in place. Join us for the official launch at CMHA Salmon Arm Branch on June 26 at 11am! For more information on Bounce Back, visit www.bouncebackbc.ca and talk to your family doctor.
CANADIAN RESEARCH 1 in 7 BC Children Experience Mental Health Problems [back to top]
Minister of Children and Family Development Tom Christensen says 1 in 7 BC children and you will experience mental health problems serious enough to impair their functioning at home, at school and with their peers. According to Christensen, 20,000 young people are getting help today, compared to 11,000 in 2004, thanks to the province’s Child and Youth Mental Health Plan. The Child and Youth Mental Health Plan, introduced in 2003, was the first of its kind in Canada. The plan focuses on four key areas: reducing risk, building capacity, improving treatment and support, and improving performance. Some, highlights include the introduction of a classroom-based anxiety prevention program in elementary schools, development of a self-help resource for teens dealing with depression, creation of about 300 new mental health positions in BC, and establishing group treatment programs outside the traditional office setting. See “One in seven BC children experience mental health problems, says minister,” at www.medbroadcast.com. A 2008 progress report on the Child and Youth Mental Health Plan is available at www.mcf.gov.bc.ca.
>> Interested in the topic of children’s mental health? Read the issues of Visions on Treatments for Young People and First Responders for Young People at www.heretohelp.bc.ca. Schizophrenia Patients with Short Hospital Stays Soon Re-admitted [back to top]
Schizophrenia patients are often caught in a revolving door of hospitalizations, sometimes being admitted within a month of discharge, finds a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The report finds that 12% of all schizophrenic patients were readmitted within 30 days of their original discharge between 2003 and 2005, and 38% of patients ended up in hospital emergency rooms in unplanned admissions within a year of discharge. The report also found that the longer the patient stayed in the hospital, the less likely they were to be re-admitted in the year following discharge. Longer hospitalizations are critical for stabilizing psychotic symptoms and re-establishing a regimen of anti-psychotic medication, the report concludes. It can also help doctors assess the likelihood of readmission. Read “Schizophrenia patients with short hospital stays soon readmitted: report” at www.cbc.ca Targeted CBT Prevention Effective at Reducing Child Depression [back to top]
A new review published in the Spring issue of SFU’s Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly has found that depression prevention programs that target at risk children, and use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as their framework are the most successful in reducing cases of depression amongst children. The review selected a number of high quality studies that examined the effectiveness of different prevention programs. Prevention programs were either universally aimed at all children, or targeted at a group of at risk children. Each program also operated from a different theoretical perspective. The targeted programs that were CBT-based had the most beneficial outcomes. The review also called for more targeted CBT programs to be made available in Canada. Read “Could Prevention Be the Best Medicine?” at www.childhealthpolicy.sfu.ca New Doctors Want Work-life Balance [back to top]
The new generation of doctors seems determined not to make the same excessive commitment to work that their senior colleagues, mentors and parents did. According to the Canada-wide 2007 National Physician Survey which polled 2,800 student and residents, 93% of medical students and 88% residents say work-life balance is a priority for them. The researchers attribute this new desire to work fewer hours to an increasingly older student crowd who has greater familial responsibility, and an increasing number of women doctors emerging from the field. The researchers anticipate a future shortage in doctors and suggest opening up new spots in medical schools to compensate for the deficiency. Read “New Doctors Want Work-life Balance” at www.canada.com. Nature Lovers Are More Happy [back to top]
A team of Ottawa psychology researchers has found that people who feel connected to nature are likely to be happy. The team developed a questionnaire called a “nature-relatedness” tool and recruited hundreds of undergraduates and 145 executives from the federal government and the private sector to determine how their scores in nature-relatedness compared with their happiness. Their results show that people who feel connected to nature also have a sense of purpose in life and more self-acceptance. Both of these factors contribute to happiness. Also, nature-related people spend more time outdoors and are more agreeable, open to experience and conscientious. Interestingly, taking a course in biology or geography may help make you happy as well. The students in the environmental courses were both more nature-related and happy. It’s still uncertain whether people love nature because they are happy, or they feel happy because they love nature. Read “The natural way to happiness: researchers find that people who feel connected to nature are likely to be happy” at www.canada.com.
RESEARCH FROM AROUND THE WORLD Number of Children Prescribed Antipsychotic Medication on the Rise [back to top]
Antipsychotic medications are being prescribed more frequently for children in the US and UK, according to a new study from the UK published in the journal Pediatrics. Among the most commonly used drugs were those used to treat autism, conduct disorder, and hyperactivity. The review says this is especially worrisome because there is little long-term data on the long-term safety of these drugs for children. In the UK study, antipsychotics were prescribed for seven per 10,000 children in 2005, up from four per 10,000 children in 2001. By contrast, an earlier US study found that nearly 45 American children out of 10,000 used the drugs in 2001, versus more than 23 per 10,000 in 1996. The UK study also found that that the increase was in medicines that haven’t been officially approved for kids. Side effects of these drugs include weight gain, nervous-system problems and heart trouble. Reasons for the increase are uncertain, but may be related to an increase in autism cases and drug industry marketing and influence. Read “Antipsychotic drug use soaring in kids in UK” at www.cbc.ca. Depressed Teens More Likely to Try Pot [back to top]
Depression, teens and marijuana are a dangerous mix, according to a US White House Office of National Drug Control Policy report. The drug control policy office analyzed about a dozen studies looking at marijuana use. Teens who have been depressed at some point in the past year are more than twice as likely to have used marijuana as teens who have not reported being depressed — 25% compared with 12%. Using marijuana also increases the risk of developing mental disorders by 40%, the report said. And teens who smoke pot at least once a month over a yearlong period are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than nonusers. Teens who smoke marijuana when feeling depressed were more than twice as likely as their peers to abuse or become addicted to pot — 8% compared with 3%. Overall, marijuana use among teens has decreased 25% since 2001, down to about 2.3 million kids who used pot at least once a month, the drug control office said. Read “Depressed Teens More Likely to Try Pot” at www.msnbc.msn.com, or read the full report, “Teen Marijuana Use Worsens DepressionS; An Analysis of Recent Data Shows ‘Self-Medicating’ Could Actually Make Things Worse,” at www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov. Students Heading Off to University Still Need their Parents [back to top]
Despite their newfound independence, students heading off to university still need their parents. New US research examining the impact of different parenting styles on university-aged children found that students whose parents balance encouragement and a firm hand have much better self-esteem and less anxiety and depression than their peers. The researchers compare young adulthood to the toddler stage in terms of new-found autonomy and the upheaval it causes for parents and children. With the uncertain transition period now extending further into adulthood, late adolescents need supportive parenting more than ever. Read “University students still need their mommies and daddies” at www.canada.com.
>> Interested in the topic of post-secondary students and mental health? Read the issue of Visions on Campuses at www.heretohelp.bc.ca. Depression Most Common in Middle Age [back to top]
Middle age is miserable for many, according to a study using data from 80 countries showing that depression is most common among men and women in their 40s. The British and US researchers found that happiness for people in 72 countries ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe follows a U-shaped curve where life begins cheerful before turning tough during middle age and then returning to the joys of youth in the golden years. Previous studies have shown that psychological well-being remained flat throughout life but the new findings published in the journal, Social Science & Medicine suggest we are in for a topsy-turvy emotional ride. Read “Middle age is truly depressing, study finds” at www.msnbc.msn.com. An abstract of “Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?” with paid access to full-text is available at www.sciencedirect.com. Depression Still a Major Issue in the Workplace [back to top]
A series of new studies in the Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine suggest that depression in the workplace is significantly undertreated. The journal devoted an entire special-edition, titled “Depression in the Workplace” to the topic, with 15 papers prepared by experts on depression and workplace health. Some key findings from these studies include:, more than 6% of the employed population meets criteria for major depressive disorder, only about half of depressed workers receive any treatment,workplace productivity is significantly impacted by absenteeism and disability costs because so few workers are treated for depression, and depression often strikes very early in a worker’s career, creating a disease burden that may last for decades in the workplace. Find the studies at www.joem.org. Cognitive Remediation + Vocational Rehabilitation = Improved Work Function [back to top]
A combination of cognitive remediation and vocational rehabilitation leads to the greatest improvements in cognition and work functioning for persons with serious mental illness, according to a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal study. The process of cognitive remediation aims to improves cognitive functioning and can take the form of doing repetitive tasks until the skills are mastered, breaking down work tasks into smaller, manageable pieces and rearranging work space to compensate for cognitive impairments. Most people with a serious mental illness experience some degree of cognitive deficits (inattention, decrease in working memory, etc). These cognitive deficits have been are found to be a barrier to successful supported employment outcomes. When cognitive remediation is used in combination with vocational rehabilitation (supported job search, etc), the limited findings studied in the review suggest it improves work functioning. See “Cognitive Remediation and Vocational Rehabilitation” at www.prj.metapress.com.
NEW PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES The Mental Health Consumer Opportunities E-mail Distribution List [back to top]
This list, which is put together by the Vancouver Health Authority, informs consumers and their supporting family and friends about programs, events, workshops and work opportunities of interest to mental health consumers. The list is open to all and does not require affiliation with a local mental health team. Contact the Peer Support Office at 604-708-5274 or email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. Healthy Minds Webcast Series Explores Mental Illness [back to top]
Healthy Minds is an award-winning, 13-part series on mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and bipolar disorder as shared through personal stories, with information on diagnosis and treatment from leading experts. The series is produced by public television station WLIW of Long Island, NY and webcast by NARSAD, a New York-based mental health research charity. All episodes are available for viewing at www.narsad.org. Depression: Out of the Shadows Webcast [back to top]
Depression: Out of the Shadows is a PBS documentary that explores the illness’ complex terrain, offering a comprehensive and timely examination of this devastating disorder. Followed by a special 30-minute roundtable discussion with broadcast journalist Jane Pauley, the film weaves the science and treatment of depression with intimate portrayals of families and individuals coping with its wide-ranging effects. The documentary and follow-up special are available to view online at www.pbs.org. DVD Explores Aboriginal Women’s Journeys through Postpartum Depression [back to top]
Aboriginal Journeys in Mental Health: Surviving the Fall, documents the story of six Aboriginal women and their families who generously shared their experiences of grief and loss during pregnancy and prenatal/postpartum depression. This DVD is a collaboration between Fraser Health and Sto:lo Nation Health Services and is meant to encourage women to seek support through their families, culture, communities, health services and counseling. To order, please contact Gloria Santa Cruz at
604-870-7817. Cost: $25 suggested minimum donation. Tax receipt provided. All donations will go towards future Aboriginal health projects. Puppets Raise Awareness in Schools [back to top]
The Puppeteers from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities in Vancouver present Kids on the Block to schools, an international troupe of near life-size puppets who look and act like real children. For more than 25 years and in at least 30 different countries around the world, these entertaining puppet characters have been helping to create awareness about disabilities, mental illness, social issues, medical and learning differences. The Kids on the Block help children explore differences and similarities. Some of the puppet characters have a physical disability such as cerebral palsy or mental illness. Others have a learning disability or are coping with an issue such as bullying. Children quickly form a bond with the distinctive personalities of the puppet kids. The skits help children develop awareness, understanding and acceptance. See “Puppets raise awareness at school” at www.bclocalnews.com. Oil on Water Film Depicts Artist’s Struggle with Schizophrenia [back to top]
“Oil on Water” is the award winning story of a young artist who suffers from undiagnosed schizophrenia. It illustrates the symptoms of schizophrenia and the effects of the disorder on his loved ones. Although the film works as a psychological drama, it depicts schizophrenia in an honest light and helps to raise awareness around this difficult illness and lessen the stigma that surrounds it. You can view the film’s trailer at www.oilonwater-movie.com or purchase a copy for $19.95. Interactive Depression Website for Youth Features Talking Guides [back to top]
The LowDown is an interactive website on depression from New Zealand Government. Upon entering the site you can choose a talking guide who helps you navigate through the site or simply explore on your own. The site includes useful information on what depression is and how you can get help for it. There is also a self-test that helps you figure out whether you have depression. After brushing up on depression knowledge you can head over to the stories corner and watch videos of musicians, celebrities and ordinary people recount their personal experiences with depression, or chat on the message board. You can even listen to free tracks from the latest music albums on the site. Visit the site at www.thelowdown.co.nz. Online LGBT Support Group for Those with a Mentally Ill Relative, Partner or Friend [back to top]
This online group allows members to talk anonymously about what is going on in their lives, find others in similar situations, ask questions and get referrals to local resources in their community. The group is hosted by the BC Schizophrenia Society in and is free, private, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The group is also professionally facilitated by a member of the LGBT community. Visit BC Schizophrenia society’s support group directory for more info www.support.bcss.org. Their directory includes LGBT-specific mental health information and is in the same location as other family and supporter online support groups that also welcome LGBT persons. Mental Health Policies, a Historical Overview [back to top]
The question of how best to treat and support people living with mental illness has been raised repeatedly throughout the history of British Columbia. This background paper by the legislative library of British Columbia traces developments in provincial legislation and policy from the 1890’s to the present. Changes in policy are explained in clear and easy to understand language. Read the paper at www.llbc.leg.bc.ca. Iris the Dragon Series Launches New Children’s Book on Social Anxiety [back to top]
Hole in One helps children understand anxiety as they read about the main character, Teeman, who dreams of being a professional golfer, but whose ambition and performance are inhibited by his anxiety. Upon meeting a friendly green dragon named Iris, Teeman is able to understand anxiety and learn techniques to help overcome it. The book has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Prabhu, Registered Psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. To celebrate their new book, Iris the Dragon is offering a free book for every book purchased. Price: $20. For more information, or to order the book, visit www.iristhedragon.com. New Book on Immigrant Women’s Mental Health [back to top]
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has recently released a book about how to address the gap between the needs of women who are new to Canada and the practices and structures of the current mental health care system. Working with Immigrant Women: Issues and Strategies for Mental Health Professionals analyzes the issues that affect immigrant women’s mental health and suggest strategies for mental health professionals working with this population. The book takes into account the intersecting oppressions that immigrant women experience, their strengths and resiliencies, and their active participation in shaping their own mental health. Innovative approaches to help professionals ensure equitable, relevant and comprehensive care are also explored. To order a copy visit www.camh.net.
ANNOUNCEMENTS Mental Health Commission to Create National Charity [back to top]
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is creating a new national charitable organization to raise funds and create the kind of profile for mental illness that other national voluntary disease-specific organizations have created for other illnesses. Michael Kirby, MHCC said that it will take a national movement and a national charity to change attitudes and help change the way Canadians look at mental illness. He called on all Canadians to become active supporters by donating the necessary ingredients of time, skills, money and spirit to the cause. He also asked for the help of the business community to help get the movement started. See the MHCC news release, “Mental Health Commission of Canada Says Volunteer Spirit Will Help Change the Face of Mental Illness,” at www.mentalhealthcommission.ca. BUILT Employment Program Receives $1Million to Provide Skills Training [back to top]
The Government of Canada continues to fund the National Network for Mental Health with a $1 million investment to fund its national training and employment network, BUILT (Building Up Individuals through Learning and Teamwork). The BUILT program provides people with mental illness with training in customer service, sales, team building, time management, effective communication, conflict resolution and the use of modern office software. The project is funded through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, which supports unemployed people with disabilities who are not eligible for employment insurance benefits. The funding will allow 288 people with mental health disabilities across the country to gain skills training. An online version will also be available. See press www.builtnetwork.ca for details. Ottawa Boosts Military Operational Stress Support Program [back to top]
Veterans Affairs has expanded its assistance for military families by hiring more peer-support co-ordinators for its Operational Stress Injury Social Support Program. The program was established in 2001 by a small group of veterans, and is operated by professionally trained veterans and family members. The initiative offers support to military personnel, veterans and family members affected by operational stress by helping with issues such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety disorders, depression, insomnia and addiction. Ottawa has committed $1-million to the program and hired eight family peer-support co-ordinators. That will bring the total number of support workers involved to 20. Read “Ottawa boosts military operational stress support program” at www.nationalpost.com. Vancouver to Get New ACT Teams as Part of National Anti-Drug Strategy [back to top]
The federal government has announced funding for an assertive community treatment (ACT) team for 70 to 75 people living in the Downtown East Side neighbourhood of Vancouver. The ACT team will serve people with severe functional impairments who do not access other mental health and addiction services. The team will offer a multidisciplinary staff of approximately 12 members representing the fields of psychiatry, medicine, nursing, therapy and rehabilitation, and will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The announcement is part of the federal government’s treatment action plan for the national anti-drug strategy. Funding was also announced for 20 new treatment beds for marginalized women addicted to drugs who live in the same neighbourhood. See the news release, “Canada, BC, Vancouver Working Together to Find Treatment Solutions for Residents of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side,” at www.hc-sc.gc.ca. BC Government Introduces New E-health Privacy Legislation [back to top]
The BC government is introducing a new e-health statute. The bill aims to strengthen privacy protection while allowing the use of electronic health database information for medical and health-related research. The act allows researchers to approach individuals regarding health studies, with prior approval from the Information and Privacy Commissioner, but strictly prohibits the disclosure of information for market research. The maximum fine for violating the act has been raised to $200,000 from $2,000. The new act does not override the two existing federal and provincial protection of privacy acts, and is meant to complement them. See the BC Ministry of Health press release “E-Health Statute Increases Patient Access and Privacy,” April 10, 2008, at www2.news.gov.bc.ca. Nelson Community Receives $65,000 for Homeless Outreach Program [back to top]
Nelson Community Services will receive annual funding of $65,000 from the government of BC to provide services in Nelson under the Homeless Outreach Program. Outreach workers from the program will provide immediate and long-term assistance to people on the street by offering food, clothing and shelter, as well as access to transition services such as life skills training and health and social programs. In addition to Nelson, homeless outreach is being introduced in Vernon, Penticton, the Comox Valley (Courtenay and Comox), Campbell River, Terrace and Prince George. The Homeless Outreach Program has a budget of $3.9 million and is part of the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC. Read the government press release at www2.news.gov.bc.ca.
>> learn about CMHA’s involvement in homeless outreach work at www.cmha.bc.ca. Port Coquitlam Approves a New 10-Bed Residence for Mentally Ill [back to top]
The Port Coquitlam city council has approved New View Society’s plan to build a registered, 10-bed care residence for the mentally ill on its 2050 Mary Hill Road. property. The society aims to raise the estimated $3.2 million it needs for the project through donations and grants, and from the province and the federal government. The development will be designed to look and function like a duplex for residents living independently. It will also include a three-storey clubhouse for residents. The society owns an apartment building in the city as well as some group homes throughout the Tri-Cities that provide beds for about 200 people. Read “New home for mentally ill one step closer in PoCo” www.canada.com. UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Enters into Force [back to top]
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on May 3, 2008, one month after its twentieth ratification. To date, the convention has been signed by 129 countries and ratified by 25. Signing the treaty indicates a country’s intention to adopt the convention and its obligation to refrain from human rights violations documented in the treaty. Ratification is a formal confirmation that a country will protect the legal rights and obligations outlined in the document, including enacting laws to improve disability rights and eliminating discriminatory legislation, customs and practices. Canada signed the convention in 2007, but has yet to ratify it. The convention upholds the rights of people with disabilities to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement, access to public transportation and buildings, freedom from exploitation, and equal recognition before the law. It also recognizes the right of people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves. See the UN news release, “Landmark UN Treaty on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Enters into Force,” at www.un.org. Transforming Lives Award [back to top]
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently announced the seven winners of their Transforming Lives Award. The award honours Canadians who have overcome the challenges of addiction and mental illness and used their experiences to help others, or have contributed to advances in mental health and addictions care through science, advocacy or patronage. The official awards presentation took place in Toronto on May 8, 2008. To find out who the recipients are, see the press release at www.camh.net. Eli Lily Accepting Nominations for Reintegration Awards – Deadline June 23 [back to top]
Eli Lilly and Company is now accepting nominations for its Reintegration Awards program which celebrates contributions and achievements in mental health rehabilitation and recovery. Applications can be made to one of two award categories. The first includes treatment teams, programs, and services offering care and support to people with severe mental illness in the areas of advocacy, clinical medicine, employment, education, housing and social support. The second award category is reserved for individuals living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who have shown great personal achievements, artistic contributions or have mentored others. An independent panel of individuals and health care professionals will evaluate the nominations. Winners in each category will be recognized at a ceremony in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October and will receive grants of $2500-$5000 to their respective programs to further their success. Find out more at www.reintegration.com Moving Lives Forward Scholarship – Deadline June 30 [back to top]
Eli Lily Canada, BC Schizophrenia Society and the Mood Disorders Association of BC are offering the Moving Lives Forward Scholarship to help people with a severe and persistent mental illness: bipolar, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, reintegrate into society. They offer financial assistance for both academic and vocational opportunities in which students can work to acquire the training necessary to secure a meaningful job. The scholarships are worth $1500 and $750, and can go towards a wide variety of programs. See www.bcss.org or www.mdabc.net more information.
>> CMHA BC also offers education bursaries through the Lorne Fraser Education Fund. Stay tuned for a list of the 2008 winners this summer. Campbell River Crisis Line Recruiting Volunteers [back to top]
The Campbell River Crisis Line is recruiting new volunteers to answer calls from people in distress. Volunteers receive ongoing training that develops their listening skills and competence in handling calls. Prior to answering the crisis line, volunteers job shadow and complete 35-hours of training covering topics such as crisis and suicide intervention, family violence, alcoholism, abuse, mental illness, and adolescent stress, appropriate community resources ethics and responsibilities, cultural competence and diversity training, setting boundaries and limits and self-awareness and self care. Volunteers are needed for a variety of shifts. Night shifts can be done from home one to two nights per month. If you are interested in volunteering with the Crisis Line, call 250-287-2421. UBC Study Seeks People with a Mood Disorder [back to top]
The UBC Department of Psychiatry is looking for people who have or have had a mood disorder to volunteer for a research study. They will be collecting saliva and a small blood sample to look at hormone levels, and asking you to complete a series of tests to look at your thinking processes and memory. They are looking for people between 19-65 who have been diagnosed with major depression or bipolar disorder who have no serious medical conditions and are willing to attend 2 clinic visits (1-4 hours per visit). If you are interested call Sean at 604-827-3352. Online Survey Seeking People with Bipolar Disorder [back to top]
PatientView is conducting an online survey for people with bipolar disorder, in association with the World Federation of Mental Health and GAMIAN-Europe, as well as the European Family and Carer Federation. The survey hopes to find out what people with bipolar disorder think are the most important healthcare and other types of information for them, as well as what they think sets them apart from other people with a mental illness. The survey is being conducted online via a specialist survey website to make sure that the responses of all contributors remain completely anonymous to the survey administrators. To thank people for participating in the survey, PatientView will email every participant a PDF of the survey findings (if they are happy to provide an email address), which will be available September 2008. To take the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=HUisU1tNJVjlkEmdcNGOjQ_3d_3d. Graduate Student Paper Competition Calls for Submissions [back to top]
The Mental Health Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) is looking for paper submissions from graduate students. Papers should involve an empirical analysis, either qualitative or quantitative, dealing with any aspect of the sociology of mental health. To be eligible, a paper must have been written during 2007 or 2008, and must not exceed 28 pages including all notes, references and tables. The paper must be student authored and may not be published or accepted for publication. The winner will receive a $150 cash prize plus a ticket to the SSSP banquet where the award is presented. To submit your paper, send two paper copies OR an electronic copy to Dr. Richard Carpiano, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, or email@example.com. See www.sssp1.org for details. Vital Signs Wellness and Livability Survey for Metro Vancouver [back to top]
Each year, Vancouver Foundation asks metro Vancouver citizens to grade the region on factors that contribute to overall wellness and liveability. Participants answer a survey regarding how they think metro Vancouver is doing as a region on a variety of different issues such as health, housing, transportation, diversity, education, arts and culture. Vital Signs, the report that results from the survey, is read by key decision makers in our region, so being a participant is a great opportunity to have your voice heard on some of the important issues of the day. Last year’s survey participants placed mental health and substance use issues as top priorities in the area of health and wellness. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. To register, visit www.vancouverfoundationvitalsigns.ca.
PUBLIC EDUCATION EVENTS Movie Mondays in Victoria [back to top]
Every Monday at 6:30pm, Bruce Saunders’ Movie Monday project presents free movies at the Eric Martin Pavilion at the 1900 block of Fort Street in Victoria. More details at www.islandnet.com/mm.
June 23 – River of Life
June 30 – Louis 19 – King of the Airwaves The Best Place on Earth Art Show – June 1 – 30 [back to top]
Karen Ward, a historian, writer, and lesbian who lives with a mood disorder and a cat, presents a show of photos, mostly of the neighborhood on the east side of Vancouver, where she lived during a period of recovery. Her photographs are about hope and despair and the stubborn persistence of human spirit in a seemingly indifferent world. The show makes visible the lost, erased, and painted-over voices pushed to the margins of society because of mental illness, poverty, class, and colonialism. The show will be held at Taf’s Café and Gallery, on 829 Granville Street, open daily from 11am to midnight. See www.triumphstreet.ca for details. Comedy Courage Benefit Concert, New Westminster – June 20 [back to top]
Comedy Courage troupe members will bring fun and laughter to Lafflines comedy club with their hilarious take on mental health issues on June 20. Comedy Courage gives individuals with mental illness a chance to discover their comedic talent, and to use this talent to educate, create awareness, break the stigma of mental illness, and to raise funds for direct service agencies that support people with mental health issues. Their annual benefit concert is the largest event of its kind in Canada and all proceeds from the concert are donated to a mental health agency. This year, all proceeds will go to CMHA Simon Fraser branch, which will use it to pay off the mortgage on Blue Bird House, an assisted living facility for people with mental disorders. The facility aims to reduce dependency on institutional care by providing support leading to independent living. Please show your support by purchasing tickets at www.comedycourage.com. Cost: $45. Wellness Series for Family Caregivers of Seniors in Burnaby – Begins June 26 [back to top]
The Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society’s new Family Care Providers Helping Each Other project offers free services to family and friends who are providing care to a dependant older adult in Burnaby. Their 6-week Education/Information Sessions for Family Caregivers begins Thursday, June 26 from 1-3pm, and will include guest speakers on taking care of yourself and dealing with stress, dealing with emotional issues such as guilt, and community resources. For more information, contact Katherine Willett at 604-291-2258. Seasonal Affective Disorder and Light Therapy Seminar – June 27 [back to top]
The 20th annual meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms will feature cutting-edge information on circadian rhythms and psychiatric disorders including sessions on Bodyclocks and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Antidepressants, Light and Bodyclocks, Prevention of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Light Therapy: New and Future Applications, and more. Their conference will also feature a free public education event at UBC Robson Square from 4 – 6pm entitled Update on SAD and hot topics from the 2008 Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms meeting. Audience members will have the chance to hear from international experts in SAD, light therapy and related disorders. No registration is required. Please contact Loretta Musselwhite at the Mood Disorders Centre in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC for further information firstname.lastname@example.org Reach Out Youth Concert Tour Comes to Northern BC – September 24 – October 4 [back to top]
The BC Schizophrenia Society and BC Partners for Mental Health and Addiction Information are harnessing the power of music to change attitudes about psychosis and promote early and more effective treatment for this devastating brain condition. The popular Reach Out high school awareness program, which has been bringing its free concert and spoken word tour to lower mainland high schools since 2005, is, for the first time, visiting high schools and correctional facilities in Northern BC and the Queen Charlotte Islands. The theme of Reach Out is: “Psychosis sucks if there is no one there to catch you!” and it will feature slam poet Barbara Adler and popular band Ten Ways From Sunday who will be helping to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and promoting early treatment for psychosis. More information on concert dates and locations, concert booking procedures, and performer and psychosis information is available at www.reachoutpsychosis.com or email email@example.com.
COURSES AND WORKSHOPS Mental Health Works Workshops for Workplaces [back to top]
Approaching an employee who seems to be unwell, managing performance issues where mental health may be an issue and addressing the concerns of co-workers are all issues we can help with. Mental Health Works, a multiple award-winning initiative of CMHA, provides organizations with the tools and resources they need to effectively address issues involving mental illness in the workplace. Educational presentations and skills-building workshops are available for various audiences in the workplace – employees at all levels, union representatives, operational managers, and senior executives. Learn more at www.mentalhealthworks.ca or contact Margaret Tebbutt at 1-800-555-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Write from the Heart – A Writing Course for Consumers [back to top]
Do you have a story to tell? Do you want to write better? Are you a poet or blogger? Do you need help expressing your ideas? Then you might interested in joining Write from the Heart, an 8-week writing program just for consumers. This course is free, meets once week and all materials are provided! For more information or to enroll contact 604-682-3269 ext. 7974, and leave a message for Susan Katz, CIF Project manager. Free Workshops for Caregivers [back to top]
The Vancouver Coastal Health Caregiver Support Program will be offering a 6 week educations series for friend and family members providing unpaid care for someone living with a disability or chronic illness. Caregivers learn strategies for coping, connect with others who are dealing with a similar situation, and learn about valuable resources and information that can assist them in decision-making. The June Educations Series takes place every Tuesday 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm from June 3 – July 15. You can register by calling the Vancouver Coastal Health Referral Line at 604-263-7377. Visit www.vch.ca/caregivers for more information. Jessie’s Hope Society Trainer Prevention Program – Begins June 19 [back to top]
Jessie’s Hope Society has developed a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving the resiliency of children by reaching out to the adults who surround them. Adults who can access their own inner strength and innate health, can model and encourage healthy self-esteem and body image for the children and youth in their care. Applicants will have an opportunity to enhance their personal and/or professional growth, apply their training in their own organization/work place and become a Certified Trainer for one or all of Jessie’s Hope Society’s programs. For the complete program dates, costs and specific details about the program, please contact Heather at the program office, 604.466.4877 or email email@example.com.
CONFERENCES Leading and Succeeding: Keeping Pace with the Changing Healthcare Force – June 23 + 24 [back to top]
BC’s preeminent conference for healthcare leaders and human resource professionals, presented by the Health Employers Association of BC. This year’s conference will examine present human resource needs and look at how organization can adapt to meet both employer and employee needs in years to come. Includes sessions on Duty to Accommodate, Conflict Resolution, and Mental Health in the Workplace. The conference will close with the 2nd Annual Excellence in BC Healthcare Awards. Cost: $325. Please see www.bchealthcareconference.ca for details and registration. Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice – July 12 – 15 [back to top]
This conference will examine the citizenship and human rights of people in psychiatric care through the lens of legislation including commitment procedures, mandatory community treatment, deinstitutionalization and privatization, activism and anti-psychiatry resistance. The conference will follow a multi-media format, presenting speaker sessions, a public screening and of the landmark documentary Titicut Follies with its world-renowned director Frederick Wiseman in attendance and a culture night featuring stand-up comedy and a play. The conference will take place at SFU Harbour Centre. Cost: $100 regular delegates, $40 non-SFU Students, seniors, disabled and unwaged, free for SFU students. For more information visit www.sfu.ca. CMHA National Conference, Nova Scotia – August 22 + 23 [back to top]
The 2008 Canadian Mental Health Association National Conference, “Making Waves for Change: From Surviving to Thriving” will be hosted by CMHA Nova Scotia. The main themes for the 2008 conference are Prevention, Recovery and Advocacy. Workshop topics related to the themes include: postpartum depression, suicide, housing and cross-cultural mental health; family support groups, mental health from a chronic disease perspective and concurrent disorders; and youth advocacy and raising the profile of mental health issues. CMHA BC Division will also be presenting on the new Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health program to support emotional well-being of people with chronic health conditions. The event will also feature “Youth Speak”, an interactive presentation on mental health and illness aimed at high school students that is written, designed and presented by young people with mental illness. Cost: $395 for both days or $200/day; Early Bird: $295 for both days (ends June 27). For more information and registration, visit www.cmha.ca or www.novascotia.cmha.ca.