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.
Advocates Push for Changes to Mental Health Act full article
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.
Global Mental Health Crisis Looming Due to coronavirus Pandemic, UN Warns full article
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.
‘You Just Spiral’: UBC President Who Overcame Mental Health Crisis Determined to Help Canadian Students full article
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.
Stanford and Students with Mental Health Disabilities Reach Landmark Settlement full article
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.
Universities: Stop Evicting Students With Mental Health Issues full article
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.
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 full article
By Leslie Young
June 20th, 2018
This is the third story of an eight-part series on the generation Z population in Canada who they are, what drives them and how they envision their near future.
Shailee Korrane was still in high school when she had her first panic attack.
Eventually, she decided to seek help. “I was obviously very afraid,” she tells Global News. “It was actually a friend who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder who kind of sat me down and said, ‘I’m really worried about your health and you remind me of me before I sought care.'”
Generation Z: Waiting – Often Months – to Get Mental Health Help full article
Michael Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate who is mentally ill, spent much of his nearly six-year period of incarceration in solitary confinement. Patrick White
September 4, 2017
In 2016, Michael Nehass swallowed razor blades. To his delusional mind, it was a reasonable act built upon solid logic.
Mr. Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate, believed that a technological device of some unspecified kind had been implanted in his stomach during his lengthy incarceration. Consuming the blades, he thought, would force hospital surgeons to open up his torso, whereupon they would see the implant and remove it.
Justice System Failed Mentally Ill Indigenous Inmate, Lawyer Argues full article
I Am Voting campaign encouraging participation of people with mental disabilities in #elxn2017 By Liam Britten, CBC News Posted: May 09, 2017
Alexander Magnussen is a man with autism who is voting in his first provincial election. He is also an advocate with I Am Voting, a campaign encouraging voters with intellectual disabilities to participate and exercise their rights.
Alexander Magnussen is over the age of 18. He’s a resident of British Columbia.
But he also has autism and, until recently, believed his diagnosis made him ineligible to vote.
“I would hear people talk about voting and I would assume that I was not allowed to vote … I would mind my own business,” he told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.
Voters With Mental Disabilities Deserve a Say at Polls, advocates Say full article
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016
This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab.
With public figures such as Clara Hughes leading the way to greater awareness and increased discussion around mental health, it’s still a largely overlooked issue in many workplaces.
Each year one in five Canadians will experience a mental health or addiction problem, and in some areas, such as Ontario, this number is as high as one in four. More worrying, these figures reflect only people who have visited a doctor for a diagnosis. The actual number is likely much higher.
Why Canadian Companies Can’t Ignore the Cost of Mental Illness full article
Published on: January 19, 2015
Shannon Bittman is vice president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.
Women in the public service go on disability leave at almost twice the rate of men, a problem some experts say should be addressed as part of the governments new disability management scheme.
The federal disability insurance plan, managed by Sun Life Financial, is the biggest in Canada. A Sun Life report obtained by the Citizen shows women have ended up on long-term disability at rates vastly disproportionate to their numbers in the public service for more than a decade, especially for mental health conditions.
Female PS Workers’s Disability Claims Outnumber Mmen’s two-to-one full article
CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2014 8:49 AM ET
Privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian found attempted suicide calls uploaded to international database
Ontario’s privacy commissioner has discovered that the mental-health information of some Canadians is accessible to the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Ann Cavoukian said Monday that some Ontario police services routinely uploaded attempted suicide calls to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), to which U.S. border guards and the FBI have access.
Cavoukian began investigating how U.S. law enforcement had access to such personal information after last fall’s news that some Canadian travellers with a history of mental-health issues had been denied entry into the U.S.
Canadians’ Mental-Health Info Routinely Shared With FBI, U.S. Customs full article
John McCamus, National Post | 11/12/13 | Last Updated: 10/12/13 1:30 PM ET
Too many Canadians with mental health challenges are falling through the cracks in our court system..
Those of us who have ever gone through a divorce, struggled with employment issues, or had problems with a landlord, know full well the stress that any of these matters can bring.
Now imagine having to deal with a mental illness on top of everything else.
For a lot of Ontarians with mental health issues, legal problems don’t exist in isolation. Too often there are multiple legal needs that cut across the entire justice system.
Ensuring Equal Justice for All full article
Howard Sapers, federal corrections ombudsman, makes 16 recommendations on how to change the way the system treats troubled women offenders.
Correctional Service watchdog Howard Sapers reports ongoing concerns about the capacity of Correctional Service of Canada to manage mental illness.
By: Tonda MacCharles Ottawa Bureau reporter, Published on Mon Sep 30 2013
OTTAWA—Six years after the death of Ashley Smith, an investigation by the federal prisons watchdog says guards and managers are still taking a dangerously wrong approach to troubled women offenders.
The damning report is the result of an investigation by the office of Howard Sapers, the federal corrections ombudsman.
Federal Prison Staff Mishandling Mentally Ill Women Inmates: Ombudsman full article
Published Monday, July 29, 2013 1:01PM CST
TORONTO — Studies show that Canada’s elderly are at a much higher risk of suicide than adolescents, and there is growing concern among mental health experts that psychological care may be out of reach for most seniors.
Dr. Marnin Heisel, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Western Ontario, says lack of public awareness of the issue is a key problem that affects not only the elderly, but their families and the public in general.
“One of the challenges that people face is thinking ‘I’m unique in this, I’m alone, there’s something wrong with me, no one can understand it,’ and then they tend to back away from family, other supports, including professional supports,” Heisel said in an interview.
Canada’s Elderly at High Risk of Suicide, Can’t Afford Mental Health Care: Experts full article
Edmonton Journal, Mar. 1, 2013
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson’s Bill C-54 flies in the face of the Conservative government’s promise to fight the stigma associated with mental illness, mental health organizations say.
A McGill University researcher says a bill introduced by the Harper government toughening rules for violent offenders deemed “not criminally responsible” due to mental illness left her a bit baffled: Didn’t federal officials bother to look at the data she had collected for them?
Anne Crocker, a professor of psychiatry, told Postmedia News that the data she turned over to the Justice Department’s research division in November showed that this group of offenders is among the least likely to reoffend.
Mentally Ill are Unlikely to Re-offend; So Why is Canada Toughening Rules for Them, Researcher Asks full article
January 18, 2013
Some inmates with mental health problems “manifest symptoms of their illness through disruptive behaviour, aggression, violence, self-mutilation, suicidal ideation, withdrawal, refusal or inability to follow prison orders or rules,” according to Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers.
Most Canadians are familiar with the shocking video footage that was presented in a coroner’s court in 2012 as part of an inquest into the Oct. 19, 2007 self-strangulation of teenager Ashley Smith inside a solitary confinement cell at the nation’s only federal women’s prison, the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario.
Agony Behind Bars full article
“How can it get worse?”
Ashley Smith asks the question in a childlike moan.
Aboard a small government plane, 33,000 feet in the air somewhere between Saskatoon and Montreal, the teen inmate can’t fathom a fate worse than what has just befallen her in a period of six minutes.
Her forearms are shackled to the seat’s armrests, a hood of black netting and canvas is pulled over her head of long, wavy brown hair and tied around her neck. The plane’s co-pilot, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has just bound her wrists
together with duct tape, restricting her as though in a straitjacket. And she is sitting in her own feces.
Shocking Ashley Smith Video Revealed; Inquest Sees Footage of Inmate Shackled, Injected Against Her Will full article
Heather Loney, Global News : Wednesday, October 10, 2012
TORONTO – A groundbreaking new report sheds light on the immense burden of mental illnesses and addictions, conditions which are often misunderstood, misdiagnosed or ignored.
The overall impact of mental illnesses and addictions is greater than cancer and all infectious diseases, according to a report from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Public Health Ontario (PHO).
Opening Eyes, Opening Minds: The Ontario Burden of Mental Illness and Addictions Report states decision-makers and members of the health care system can no longer afford to bear the burden of mental illness.
Impact of Mental Illness Greater Than Cancer, Infectious Diseases: Report full article
The Ottawa Citizen July 24, 2012
Comment 4 The scope of mental health problems in this country has been well-documented, the stigma of acknowledging the problem is lessening and more Canadians are coming forward to seek help. That’s good news, but our health care system has not been able to cope with the increased demand.
As with almost everything in health care, governments cite deficits and limited new dollars when asked to explain the inadequacy of mental health services. We know there is a cost to improving mental health, but a new study from the Conference Board of Canada puts a price on not tackling the problem.
The Toll of Mental Illness full article