If tackling a complex issue is like building a puzzle, the most important step is to find all the pieces. How to start? Listen to people with experience. In my last blog, I began to share findings from the work of the Community of Interest (COI) for Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addiction.
Qualaxia is a network of researchers, experts, decision-makers, managers and clinicians. The network's goal is making documents believed to be particularly important on the subject of public mental health easily accessible.
Please feel free to respond to the articles on Qualaxia's blog. Give your opinion, ask questions, describe your experiences or tell us about documents or tools of interest geared towards decision-makers, managers and clinicians. Scientific knowledge takes on new meaning when combined with experience in the field. This blog is a dynamic way to share knowledge about populational mental health.
Tackling a complex issue can be like building a puzzle. Sometimes the first step is to find the pieces.
In my last blog, I introduced you to the Community of Interest (COI) for Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addiction. Last year, the COI’s goal was to better understand how and why racialized communities in Ontario use the emergency department (ED) for mental health and addictions services. We also wanted to showcase promising and innovative practices that benefited racialized communities, service providers and the health system. To learn more about the COI and this work, please read my previous blog here: One Room, Many Voices, One Conversation.
In Quebec, there are many ad campaigns designed to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Of particular note are ads by the Mental Illness Foundation. The campaign Demander de l’aide, c’est fort! by the Centre de prévention du suicide du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean also seeks to shatter the image that asking for help is a sign of weakness, redefining it instead as a sign of strength. This type of innovation is reflected in the Et moi, comment ça va? project recently established by the Centre de prévention du suicide de Québec (CPSQ).
Communities support our growth, action and change, both personally and professionally. In the mental health system, communities of dedicated, passionate and motivated collaborators often act as catalysts for knowledge exchange and action.
Our community came together around a shared understanding that mental health experiences are informed by experiences of race and racism, and that mental health policy, planning and service delivery must consider the needs and realities of racialized groups.
Over the past year, the FEJ and mental health teams of the CSSS Dorval-Lachine-Lasalle wrote a document entitled, “Connecting the FEJ-DI-TED-DP, Psycho-social and Mental Health Services”. This document was a response to concerns the SIPPE program felt regarding its collaboration with the mental health team. It presents a framework for practice aiming to increase teamwork and collaboration between various services. Since implementing this framework last fall, we have noticed improvements in communication between health care providers on the FEJ and mental health teams. Because we are dealing with two programs with two distinct mandates, collaboration remains complex and great challenges lie ahead.
I like to say that psychotherapy is the treatment that has been researched the most. There is plenty of scientific data available, and when so much data is available, researchers can begin to summarize that data in what we call a systematic review. In fact, there is so much data that we can not only conduct systematic reviews, we can also conduct reviews of reviews. My goal here is not to describe any of these reviews in detail; instead, I hope to draw on what is consistent from one review to the next and to translate that into terms we can more easily relate to.
Balancing work and family life is one of today’s hot topics. When it’s done right, it can be a source of health and well-being. But can one balance farm work and family life? Let’s see how a better understanding of farmers’ work-family balance can help shed new light on the specific challenges in their lives.
In a previous piece for Quintessence, I wrote about Supported Self Management (SSM) for mood problems, surprisingly effective despite minimal cost and easy implementation. SSM involves teaching patients evidence-based methods for dealing with depression more effectively. The patient is provided with the Antidepressant Skills Workbook along with some support from a healthcare professional, peer support worker or family member. The skills taught in the workbook are based on cognitive behavioural therapy.
Although immigrants are generally healthier than people born in Canada, their health tends to decline over their time here. Access to health services is therefore essential, yet multiple barriers remain in the mental health context. As Laurence Kirmayer previously blogged, the challenges are complex and significant.
A research report released in Ontario last summer entitled Connecting the Dots indicated that local public health units are doing a substantial amount of mental health promotion for children and youth without having a specific mandate to do so. In Ontario, illness prevention and health promotion are at the heart of public health, yet the role of public health in the mental health of Ontarians has not been well defined. For instance, the Ontario Public Health Standards, which guides the work of public health units, lacks an explicit mandate to address mental health.