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Health of Canadians With Disabilities Suffering During the Pandemic

June 2, 2021

The COVID-19 Disability Survey captured perspectives from Canadians with different types of disabilities and their family members.

Nearly 30 per cent of those polled are hesitant to get vaccinated

A new study led by UBC researchers and the Ontario-based Abilities Centre is sounding the alarm over the damaging effects of COVID-19 for Canadians with disabilities.

Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, director of the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, points to public health restrictions and lack of community resources as key contributors to heightened challenges facing those living with disabilities.

The Disabled Doctors Not Believed by Their Colleagues

Miranda Schreiber

BBC News, Apr. 19, 2021

When I was 15, I described what turned out to be the neurological symptoms of mental illness to my doctor. I told him I couldn’t do schoolwork, feel the cold, or understand a book. He suggested I go on walks if I was stressed.

This breakdown in communication, in which patient and doctor seem to live in different worlds, is well-documented by disabled people. Many feel they have to translate their experience, because disability and medical structures seem incompatible.

But this experience is familiar to disabled doctors too, and some are seeking solutions.

Mental Illness is Another Pandemic in the Making

By Benjamin Rempel
Mon., April 5, 2021

Cachelle Colquhoun, mother of four from Collingwood, Ont., is frustrated with the state of mental-health supports available to her children.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colquhoun has struggled to meet the needs of her nine-year-old with general anxiety disorder and attention deficit disorder and her six-year-old who has challenges with neurodiversity, including sensory disorder.

“I spend a lot of my days trying to find the right resources for my kids,” Colquhoun says. “Getting help is nearly impossible. And if you can access services, you price yourself out immediately.”

The Pandemic Has Made Post-Secondary students’ Mental Health Even Worse

As college and university students face a mental health crisis, faculty and institutions are looking at making structural changes By Julia Mastroianni
Now Toronto, Jan 25, 2021

Among the many negative effects of COVID-19, deteriorating mental health of post-secondary students has been one of the most serious and widespread.

Mental health stressors are a major issue for post-secondary students in particular, though the pandemic has only exacerbated a growing crisis in Canada.

“Things were going downhill in mental health for students across North America before COVID,” says Paul Ritvo, a psychology professor at York University who has been studying the effects of mindfulness on student mental health. “What COVID has done is it has put health and health science in the top headlines, and we have become a more health-oriented society.”

Advocates Push for Changes to Mental Health Act

By CAMILLE BAINS
THE CANADIAN PRESS, Globe and Mail, Sept. 2, 2020
VANCOUVER – A week after giving birth to her daughter, Shareen Nimmo was forced to enter a psychiatric facility without being informed of her rights or having access to independent legal advice.

Involuntary detention is permitted in Canada but unlike most of the country, British Columbia does not provide patients with legal representation, which the ombudsperson wants changed in the Mental Health Act.

Ms. Nimmo, 38, still feels the sting of the trauma she endured on March 27, 2019, when police officers and paramedics arrived at her home and took her to hospital.

Global Mental Health Crisis Looming Due to coronavirus Pandemic, UN Warns

Kate Kelland Reuters
May 14, 2020

While countries around the world continue to mobilize to contain the spread of COVID-19, mental health experts say we can’t lose sight of an equally alarming issue: The long-term mental health impact the coronavirus pandemic is going to leave on society.

A mental illness crisis is looming as millions of people worldwide are surrounded by death and disease and forced into isolation, poverty and anxiety by the pandemic of COVID-19, United Nations health experts said on Thursday.

“The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil they all cause or could cause psychological distress,” said Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mental health department.

‘You Just Spiral’: UBC President Who Overcame Mental Health Crisis Determined to Help Canadian Students

Santa J. Ono was afraid to speak out about his mental illness; now he’s a champion for mental health on campus CBC Radio
Posted: Feb 14, 2020

University of British Columbia president Santa J. Ono understands the immense pressures students face, having dealt with his own mental health crisis as a student.

Eleanor Vannon was a student at Camosun College in Victoria when anxiety literally stopped her in her tracks.

Vannon had experienced anxiety in high school, but she had high expectations of herself, and felt she had to be “the strongest and the toughest.” At the same time, she was haunted by feelings of low-self worth, and questioned if she even deserved a post-secondary education.

Stanford and Students with Mental Health Disabilities Reach Landmark Settlement

Settlement is most comprehensive ever to protect college students with mental health disabilities from unnecessary exclusion Palo Alto, CA, October 7, 2019

A coalition of Stanford students and Stanford University have reached a groundbreaking settlement agreement that will result in significant changes to Stanford’s leave of absence policies and practices, all of which will help ensure that students experiencing mental health crises have access to appropriate accommodations and services and are not unnecessarily excluded from campus and housing. Read the settlement agreement below.

Universities: Stop Evicting Students With Mental Health Issues

The Fulcrum
2019/02/07

The U of A is the most recent among universities making headlines for evicting a student with mental illness.

Last week, while #BellLetsTalk flooded social media, allowing institutions to do the bare minimum in relaying their support for mental health initiatives, another story made CBC headlines — in 2016 a University of Alberta student was kicked out of residence after a suicide attempt.

Year after year headlines emerge detailing another student losing their home, being forcibly removed from their school, regardless of academic standing, owing to the fact that they have a mental health problem.

It’s Been Revealed That Canadians Diagnosed With Mental Health Issues Are Put On A List That Is Shared With The FBI And US Border Patrol

October 30, 2018

In the past five years, Canada has made tremendous strides in the fight to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. The #BellLetsTalk campaign has been at the forefront, considering the campaign routinely grabs the world’s attention using a single hashtag to raise money for mental health initiatives.

READ ALSO: Ontario Universities Are Tracking Their Students Who Went To These High Schools Because Of This Insane Secret List(opens in new tab/window)

While the stigma may not be as prevalent as it was a decade ago, what has recently been discovered when it comes to Canadians with mental illnesses trying to cross the border is the harsh reality that the stigma is still very much alive.