Virtual addictions program in Thamesville shuts down due to funding issues – CBC News [2023-08-20]

A Thamesville, Ont., organization says it’s being forced to shut down its virtual recovery program because its been unable to secure sustainable funding.

Westover Treatment Centre, running in Chatham-Kent since 1986, stopped the program this month, and has had to lay off highly-skilled addictions counsellors, said Laird Brush, the organization’s executive director.

“We’ve had to turn clients away that that won’t have access to addiction treatment because it’s not available to them,” he said. “As a result, people are going to stay sick and some of them are going to die.”

The virtual addiction treatment day program launched in October 2021 during the pandemic with funding from the Ministry of Health. Funding ended in March of this year, and while they’ve tried to run the program since, it’s no longer financially feasible, he said.

Read more here:

CBC News
August 20, 2023

Autistic people at higher risk of self-harm, psychiatric illness: study – Global News [2023-08-10]

Researchers are calling for improved diagnosis, prevention and treatment of psychiatric illness among autistic people after finding they are at a higher risk of self-harm and suicide than non-autistic people.

“We think psychiatric diagnosis plays a very important role in explaining these increased risks,” said lead author Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai, a staff psychiatrist and senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

The new study, conducted by CAMH and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), found that autistic females had an 83 per cent increased risk of self-harm than non-autistic females.

Autistic males had a 47 per cent higher risk of self-harm than non-autistic males.

The researchers also found that deaths by suicide were “rare,” but autistic people were still at higher risk and that psychiatric disorders were a factor.

Read more here:

Global News
August 10, 2023

No joke: Satirical websites get caught up in Meta’s quest to block news in Canada – CBC News [2023-08-10]

Luke Gordon Field is trying to figure out how he can explain the concept of deadpan satire to an algorithm.

He says he never thought in a million years that the need to explain a joke would transcend humans. But it’s a situation he believes he has found himself in as editor-in-chief of the Beaverton, a Canadian comedy website.

Meta is in the process of removing all news from its Facebook and Instagram platforms in Canada in response to a new law that would force the company to compensate media outlets for content that is shared or otherwise repurposed on their platforms.

But satirical sites are getting caught up in the tech giant’s quest, too — even though their human audiences know they aren’t news.

It’s an error that some publications say could threaten their survival.

“I don’t want to be too dramatic, but in a world where Facebook completely cuts us off, I mean, there’s a very real chance we do not survive that,” Field told the Canadian Press.

Read more here:

CBC News
August 10, 2023

Animal therapy program shows promise in Canadian prisons, study found – CTV News [2023-08-09]

A graduate student from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is looking into what she describes as the transformative power of animal therapy programs at Canadian correctional facilities.

Five years ago, Grace Rath, along with her black Labrador companion, Jager, volunteered in a therapy dog program.

Intrigued by what she calls the profound impact of the relationships between participants and the dogs, Rath embarked on an in-depth investigation to understand whether these furry friends could help incarcerated individuals break free from internalized stigma, restore their self-confidence and improve the institution’s overall environment.

The findings shed light on the unique and powerful connections formed between inmates and therapy dogs, offering a more positive environment and effective rehabilitation strategies, said Rath.

“The main thing that I found was the dogs were able to be physically and emotionally present with the participants in ways that human interventions hadn’t been able to before,” she told over the phone on July 21.

Read more here:

CTV News
August 9, 2023

Local hospital staff frequently deal with violent, aggressive patients, new numbers show – CBC News [2023-08-08]

She’s only been on the job for two years, but London registered nurse Lannie Seddon has already been punched in the head by a patient.

She’s one of many hospital workers who face violence and aggression at work on a regular basis — something London’s hospitals are trying to prevent and mitigate, but a reality nonetheless.

Data obtained by CBC News shows 165 Code White calls at Victoria and University hospitals in the last two years — sometimes as many as 14 times a month. A Code White is activated when someone is behaving in a ptentially dangerous manner toward themselves or others and could escalate.

“I’ve seen people being bitten, hit, swatted, punched. Lots of people getting physically hurt,” said Seddon, who works in a London hospital. CBC News has agreed not to identify her exact workplace.

Read more here:

CBC News
August 8, 2023

How Heat Can Affect Your Mental Health – Psychology Today [2023-08-04]

As rising temperatures continue to break records this summer, it is important to remember that extreme heat affects not just our physical health but also our mental health.

Elevated cortisol levels, induced by rising temperatures, can trigger stress responses, making individuals feel moody and agitated. The parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for promoting calmness and relaxation, becomes less active at higher temperatures, leaving us vulnerable to stress.

Read more here:

Psychology Today
August 4, 2023

Suicide Most Common Cause of Death in People With Schizophrenia, Study Finds – Psych News Alert [2023-08-04]

Suicide is the most common cause of death in patients who have schizophrenia spectrum disorders, a study in Schizophrenia Bulletin has found.

Marie Stefanie Kejser Starzer, M.D., of Copenhagen University Hospital and colleagues analyzed data from the OPUS I study, a randomized controlled trial of 578 patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Patients enrolled in the study between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2000. When the patients enrolled, they were between 18 and 45 years old; had received first-time treatment for a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizotypal disorder, delusional disorder, acute or transient psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, or nonspecific nonorganic psychosis; and had not received antipsychotic medication for more than 12 weeks. They were randomized to receive treatment as usual or a specialized early intervention that consisted of two years of assertive community treatment (including family involvement, social skills training, and psychoeducation) by a multidisciplinary team. Patients were then assessed multiple times over a 20-year period.

Read more here:

Psych News Alert
August 4, 2023

Ontario First Nation chief calls for more support amid opioid emergency – CTV News [2023-08-04]

One First Nation community in Ontario has officially declared a state of emergency due to an opioid crisis.

“In the last five years we’ve had over 45 deaths, drug-related to the opioid crisis,” Chief Veronica Smith, of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation in Ontario, told CTV National News. “If we don’t start dealing with the problem, then it will only get worse.”

On June 26, during Chippewas of Nawash council meeting, the community declared a state of emergency as a result of the crisis’ overwhelming need for services and support, Smith explained.

Smith, who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose, knows first hand the toll this crisis is taking on families.

“His addiction just didn’t start over night. He had a long standing addiction that, over the years, was getting worse. And the drugs were getting worse. And the drugs are getting more addictive,” she explained.

“I don’t even think he realized how addictive fentanyl was.”

Read more here:

CTV News
August 4, 2023

What a Winnipeg drug treatment court means for the fight against drugs – Global News [2023-08-03]

For nearly two decades, a drug treatment court in Winnipeg has offered a way out of the cycle of drug abuse. Now. in a bid to support the court and its programs, the province and Justice Canada have signed a joint-five-year funding agreement.

This would enable millions of dollars to be used to accommodate an increase of participants over the years — about 20 to 30 more annually, while opening the doors to enhanced drug screening, counselling, treatment services, and case management.

The court, according to the Manitoba government, offers an alternative sentencing model when dealing with criminal offences related to substance abuse. Treatment and intervention are offered to offenders, along with a 12-to-18-month program for recovery.

In a press release on Aug. 3, the province noted that the court adopts a collaborative approach with its treatment program, with justice, treatment agencies and community partners working together to create an environment conducive to recovery and rehabilitation.

Read more here:

Global News
August 3, 2023

Mental health care access, electronic options, surgical backlogs: Report lays out health-care overhaul priorities – CTV News [2023-08-02]

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released a new report, which lays out the key areas that governments need to focus on in order to improve struggling health-care systems.

The report is the result of an agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to investigate where they can improve health care can be improved in Canada.

Governments, with the exception of Quebec, agreed to work with CIHI to collect and share their health-care data. CIHI plans to share the results publicly every year, making this report the first of an annual series.

This first report, which focuses on giving a snapshot of the current landscape of Canadian health care, found that surgeries dropped by 13 per cent during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic levels and that Canada is underutilizing the potential of electronic tools, with fewer than 40 per cent of Canadians reporting that they’ve accessed their health information online before.

Read more here:

CTV News
August 2, 2023

Half the population to have a mental health disorder by 75 – Science Daily [2023-07-31]

A global study co-led by researchers from The University of Queensland and Harvard Medical School has found one in two people will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime.

Professor John McGrath from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, Professor Ronald Kessler from Harvard Medical School, and their colleagues from 27 other countries, analysed data from more than 150,000 adults across 29 countries between 2001 and 2022, taken from the largest ever coordinated series of face-to-face interviews — the World Health Organisation’s World Mental Health Survey initiative.

Lead author Professor McGrath said the results demonstrate the high prevalence of mental health disorders, with 50 per cent of the population developing at least one disorder by the age of 75.

“The most common were mood disorders such as major depression or anxiety,” Professor McGrath said.

“We also found the risk of certain mental disorders differed by sex.”

Read more here:

Science Daily
July 31, 2023

Hamilton lawyers struggle to get same-day access to clients in jail – CBC News [2023-08-01]

Hamilton lawyers say they’re struggling to get timely access to clients who are imprisoned in the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre.

“It’s definitely not in the best interest of the inmates and the lawyers,” Asgar Manek, a local lawyer, told CBC Hamilton. “I have to stand up for what is right.”

Manek and other lawyers say before the pandemic, lawyers could walk into the facility and meet with their client on the same day.

Since the pandemic, the lawyers say there have been fewer rooms available for consultation with clients and lawyers have to set up an appointment before meeting their client.

Manek said he once walked in to try and speak with a client in jail and left after being stuck waiting for 40 minutes.

“It’s an impediment … definitely prohibitive,” Lauren Wilhelm, a local criminal defence lawyer, said.

Read more here:

CBC News
August 1, 2023

Sarnia, Ont. police delete tweet about woman’s shoplifting arrest following backlash – CTV News [2023-07-30]

Sarnia police have removed a Twitter post about a woman who was arrested for allegedly shoplifting food and cleaning supplies, acknowledging that it was “not in keeping” with their “internal and community expectations.”

The tweet, which included a photo of the groceries in question, was posted on Friday afternoon and was titled: “Strike 3…. YOU ARE GOING FOR BAIL.”

It read: “A female was arrested today, after she was caught for the third time this month stealing from the same retail store. She was held for bail to prevent her from continuing to reoffend.” and included the hashtag .

Read more here:

CTV News
July 30, 2023

Six alternatives to youth incarceration in Canada – [2023-07-27]

Evidence shows putting children behind bars leads to overall worse general adult health, higher recidivism rates and lower life expectancies. Despite this, Canada continues to jail youth by the tens of thousands each year.

But a new report from the Sentencing Project presents six effective alternatives to child incarceration. While their findings reflect American statistics, it offers a blueprint for Canada to adopt some alternatives of its own.

Last year, Statistics Canada reported a dramatic and unprecedented decline in the number of incarcerated youth in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a decrease of 27 per cent, Canada has already demonstrated there are safe alternatives to incarcerating young people in the name of health, safety and human rights.

Those numbers marked the largest drop in youth incarceration since the Youth Criminal Justice Act came into effect, reaching its lowest point in February 2021 with 449 youth incarcerated.

Additionally, the average daily count of young people in jail awaiting trial went down by one quarter from March 2020 to March 2021. During that time period, over 10,000 youth were admitted to correctional facilities.

Read more here:
July 27, 2023

Build and fund a drug rehab centre in London, mayor tells premier – CBC News [2023-07-25]

London should be the first city in Ontario to get any newly-built publicly-funded addiction rehab facilities, Mayor Josh Morgan says.

“Treatment is health care, and so it’s not something the city can do. This is a fully provincial responsibility and only the province can help us and our citizens and residents,” Morgan told CBC News.

Morgan, Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis and Coun. Susan Stevenson are asking for other councillors’ support to advocate for a provincial addiction rehabilitation centre in London.

“It would mean a great deal for those in our community who need affordable addiction treatment. We know across the province there is a lack of affordable options. There are many options available for those who have the wealth to be able to move into that space but for those who need more support, it’s just not there,” Morgan said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the pledge to move “full steam ahead” to build new publicly funded addiction rehab centres during a radio interview on July 14.

Private rehab facilities are out of reach for many people, Ford said.

Read more here:

CBC News
July 25, 2023

Sinéad O’Connor, Irish singer and political activist, dead at 56 – CBC News [2023-07-26]

Sinéad O’Connor, the Irish singer who rose to fame in the 1990s with a hit recording of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U and became known for her outspoken political activism and mental health struggles, has died at 56.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” the singer’s family said in a statement reported Wednesday by the BBC and RTE.

Ireland’s prime minister Leo Varadkar paid tribute to the singer on social media, calling her talent “unmatched.”

“Condolences to her family, her friends and all who loved her music,” he wrote.

Read more here:

CBC News
July 26, 2023

A new study finds a strong link between depression and dementia – CTV News [2023-07-24]

A diagnosis of depression in adulthood could more than double your risk of developing dementia in older age, according to a new study.

The study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology, used data from more than 1.4 million Danish citizens who were followed from 1977 to 2018, said lead study author Dr. Holly Elser, epidemiologist and resident physician in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania.

People were identified as having a depression diagnosis or not and followed throughout the years to see who developed dementia later in life, the study said. Researchers adjusted for factors like education, income, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, substance use disorder and bipolar disorder.

The large dataset and numerous analyses researchers used made their findings strong and reliable, but the study is limited by the unavailability of information like genetic data, said Dr. Natalie Marchant, associate professor in the division of psychiatry at University College London. Marchant was not involved in the research.

Read more here:

CTV News
July 24, 2023

Council endorses homeless hub plan, despite concerns about cost and capacity – CBC News [2023-07-24]

The City of London has moved a step closer to approving a multi-million dollar plan to open a series of neighbourhood service hubs intended to provide life-saving supports and pathways to housing for those suffering through an increasingly deadly homelessness crisis.

The plan was approved by a 11-4 vote in council sitting as the Strategic Priorities and Police Committee after almost six hours of discussion held solely to debate the hub plan.

Months in the making, the plan will allow the city to enter a procurement process to set up three to five hubs before the end of the year, with the possibility of expanding to up to 15 hubs in the future.

The hubs will be places where those who sleep outside — they number about 2,000 — can get access to basic services such as food, water, a temporary bed, bathroom and shower facilities but also begin the process of accessing supportive housing. The hubs are intended to stabilize the most acute cases so they can be safe while they’re assessed and connected with the services they need.

The report says the need for expanded services is urgent as more than 200 people who have a history of accessing services in London have died since 2020.

CBC News
July 24, 2023

Kids who go hungry more likely to access care for mental health, substance use: Ontario study – CBC News [2023-07-24]

Toronto resident Rhonda Miller knows how difficult it can be to afford the basic necessities.

The 52-year-old lives in an apartment with her daughter and two granddaughters, who are nine and six.

Rising rent and food prices mean Miller has to sometimes choose between paying her bills or buying groceries.

“I leave the bills until I can afford it, because I have to get the food,” she told CBC News.

The Millers rely on social assistance and income from some part-time work, but they say it’s not enough to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

“It’s really difficult because sometimes the food, what I want [my grandchildren] to eat, I can’t afford it, because the budget,” said Miller, noting she worries about the impact on their health.

Read more here:

CBC News
July 24, 2023

Volunteering in late life may protect the brain against cognitive decline and dementia – Science Daily [2023-07-20]

Volunteering in late life is associated with better cognitive function — specifically, better executive function and episodic memory. Those are the findings of a new study from UC Davis Health presented today (July 20) at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023 in Amsterdam.

“We hope these new data encourage individuals of all ages and backgrounds to engage in local volunteering — not only to benefit their communities, but potentially their own cognitive and brain health,” said Donna McCullough, Alzheimer’s Association chief mission and field operations officer.

Volunteer activities — such as supporting educational, religious, health-related or other charitable organizations — allow older adults to be more physically active, increase social interaction and provide cognitive stimulation that may protect the brain. However, there has been a lack of information on the relationship between volunteering and cognitive function, especially in large, diverse populations.

Read more here:

Science Daily
July 20, 2023

U.S. father, son drove 2 days to Ontario just for ketchup chips – CTV News [2023-07-22]

An American father-son duo drove for two days in an old army Jeep just to buy ketchup chips in Canada last week.

“We only crossed the border to buy the chips,” Rich Lieberman told CTV News Toronto on Saturday after buying 40 burgundy bags of Lay’s potato chips only available in Canada.

Lieberman and his 15-year-old son, Jacob, boarded their old army Jeep, which only travels approximately 70 kilometres per hour, in Virginia and set their sights on Niagara Falls, Ont.

“We joked it was a grocery run,” he said. “We had some time to kill before school starts.”

Read more here:

CTV News
July 22, 2023

Poilievre calls Niagara Falls home ‘tiny little shack,’ apologizes to tenant – CTV News [2023-07-21]

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he has apologized to a woman in Niagara Falls, Ont. for calling her home a “tiny little shack” in an attempt to illustrate high housing costs in the area.

“Housing costs under (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau have doubled, and it is not a global phenomenon, it is unique to Canada,” Poilievre said at a press conference Wednesday.

“I’ll give you just one example. It costs $550,000 for a tiny little shack,” he also said, before listing a specific address. “You can go check it out yourself.”

The home — a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1.5-story home on a half-acre lot — is on the market for $539,900.

“He called it a shack. A shack,” the house’s tenant, Asha Letourneau, told CHCH. “That was a little embarrassing, also because it’s not.”

According to CHCH, Letourneau works as a waitress and saw Poilievre’s comments online after working a night shift.

“It’s not the greatest house on the street, but it’s definitely not a shack,” she told CHCH.

Read more here:

CTV News
July 21, 2023

Brant County man swimming across Lake Ontario to raise awareness for mental health – CBC News [2023-07-20]

As he swims across Lake Ontario, swinging one arm over the other for 51 kilometres straight, Jason Kloss may seem alone — but he won’t be.

His grandfather, Dick Kloss, and friend, Mike Kuipers, both of whom died during the pandemic, will be in the Paris, Ont., man’s mind, pushing him to finish what he started.

“That hit me really hard,” Jason, 35, told CBC Hamilton in a phone interview, a few weeks ahead of his long-distance swim.

His goal is to not only cross the lake but also raise $50,000 toward the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, also known as CAMH, in Toronto.

Jason said he’s been preparing by swimming every morning for up to three hours but he’s no stranger to lake swims.

Read more here:

CBC News
July 20, 2023