Community news

1.  April 26

On Thursday, April 26, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre will present an Evidence-based Treatment for Mood Disorders workshop featuring Drs. Connie Dalton and Mandisa Peterson, Clinical Psychologist at The Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Barb Nesrallah, OCD Ottawa Family Support.

The workshop will begin with a discussion of the nature of depression and bipolar disorder.  The definition of mood disorders will be reviewed, and the differences between other mental health issues will be discussed.  The cognitive-behavioural model for depression and bipolar disorders will be introduced.  Specific cognitive behavioural treatments will be reviewed, including cognitive methods (e.g.: evaluating negative thoughts, testing out new ways of thinking), behavioural interventions (e.g.: behavioural activation and deactivation, improving sleep, problem-solving and development of action plans), and the role of medication will be discussed (in the context of psychological treatment).

For family and friends of individuals living with mood disorders, the importance of decreasing feelings of stigma, putting supportive coaching strategies in place, and practicing self-care will be emphasized.  A detailed list of relevant reading material, evidence-based websites and community and hospital-based resources will also be provided.

Learning Objectives: participants will be able to:

  • Define and understand the diagnosis and prevalence of mood disorders;
  • Understand mood disorders using a CBT model;
  • Overview of evidence-based treatment strategies;
  • Develop self-care strategies when helping others with mood disorders.

Target Audience:  Anyone wanting to learn more about Mood Disorders!  Individuals with mood disorders, their family, friends, and supporters.  Anyone who wonders if they may have a mood disorder, or anyone wondering if someone in their life may have a mood disorder.

Cost: $35.00.  Click here to register.  Location: The Royal’s Associates in Psychiatry Auditorium, 1145 Carling Avenue, Ottawa.

For information, contact Amy Quinn, Education Event Planner, Learning & Development and Telemedicine Programs, Tel.: 613-722-6521, Ext. 6570, Email: amy.quinn@theroyal.ca.

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2.  April 26

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s Avalon School Public School, 2080 Portobello Boulevard, Ottawa, presents Ann Douglas, author of “Parenting through the Storm,” on Thursday, April 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

Parents can make a difference when it comes to children’s mental health.

That’s a powerful and reassuring message if you’re a parent and you’ve been alarmed by recent newspaper headlines about anxiety, depression, and other mental health difficulties in children and adolescents.  In this practical and idea-packed workshop, parenting author Ann Douglas will share some highlights from her latest book, “Parenting through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in-between,” a book for parents who have a child who is struggling with a mental health, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge.

The workshop focuses on parenting strategies, advocacy skills, stress management, and coping skills.  Topics to be discussed include self-care, self-compassion, creating your own support network, and lifestyle matters (nutrition, fitness, sleep, and making time for fun).  This presentation is based on interviews with more than 50 parents who have walked this walk and who are eager to share their best advice with other parents.  This is a free workshop.  Click here for more details.

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3.  Family Information & Support Groups at The Royal

 FORENSIC FAMILY EDUCATION SERIES for the month of May 2018

The Royal has announced a series of public information sessions to which everyone is welcome.  Light refreshments are to be provided by the Sunshine Bakery.  Each of these sessions will be held, in English only, at The Royal, 1145 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, from 6 to 8 pm.

May 2, in the Forensic Boardroom, 2568B: Are you looking at information on the forensic mental health system?  Team members from the Integrated Forensic Program will give you general information about how to navigate the forensic system successfully, where to look for treatment, and what to expect from Mental Health Court/Clinic.

May 9, Room 1425: Understanding of mental health disorders and treatment options.  Dr. Melanie Strike from the Integrated Forensic Program will provide an introduction to different mental health disorders and treatments options within the forensic mental health system.  Questions are welcomed!

May 16, Forensic Boardroom, 2568B: Common concerns shared by many families going through the forensic mental health system.  Team members from the Integrated Forensic Program will discuss common concerns shared by families and various strategies and approaches to address the shared concerns.

May 23, Room 1425: Managing Crisis and Community Resources.  Team members from the Integrated Forensic Program will discuss different strategies to manage crisis (incarceration, suicidal behaviours, and violent behaviours) and highlight different community resources.

May 30, Room 1425: Support group for YOU!  This session is an opportunity for caregivers of individuals involved in the forensic mental health system to receive support in a warm and empathic environment.

To register, please contact one of our social workers at 613-722-6521:

  • Myriam Bouchard, MSW, RSW, Ext. 6232
  • Sarah Telford, MSW, RSW, Ext. 6148
  • Juliet Haynes, MSW, RSW, Regional Family Support Program Coordinator, Ext. 7573

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4.  May 3

Kenneth C. Pope, LLB, TEP, Barrister and Solicitor, has announced a Webinar on “Special Needs and Disability Estate Planning – Annual Updates.

Learn about:

  • Changes in ODSP and how they affect you.
  • Increased ODSP asset limit from $5000 to $40,000.
  • Increased ODSP gift limit from $6000 to $10,000.
  • How families with children with special needs can benefit from the caregiver tax credit now that it has changed.
  •  RDSPs and how they can grow to $400,000.
  •  Recent tax changes affecting trusts and estates and how to navigate through them.

During the Webinar, Ken often takes questions from participants and offers specific advice.  If you would like your family’s situation addressed or have a particular question, he may be able to answer it at the Webinar.  Any personal information you share is kept completely confidential.

The Webinar will be held on Thursday, May 3, starting at 12 noon.  To register, click here.

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5.  May 5

On Saturday, May 5, from 9:30 am to 2 pm, The Oasis in Kanata presents A Taste of Mindfulness” workshop, guided by Susan Kehoe, a qualified trainer certified by the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic.  “Mindfulness is creating an intention to well being, paying attention to what is in this moment, and approaching ‘what is’ with an attitude of curiosity and openness.”  This workshop for caregivers will be both an introduction to Mindfulness and an experience of the “how to” of Mindfulness by way of short meditations, mindful eating, and more.  The gentle in-class meditation practice will be done on a yoga mat or seated on a chair.  See the poster for details and registration information.  Registration is required as space is limited.

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6.  May 9

or CMHA Mental Health Week 2018, the Creative Well Theatre Project presents “The Un-Merry-Go-Round,” a Forum Theatre Play addressing the stigmas and systemic barriers attached to mental illness and poverty, on Wednesday, May 9, from 2 to 3:30 pm, at the CMHA Office, 1355 Bank Street, Suite 402, Boardroom A.  Free admission.  No need to reserve a seat.  For more info contact: Linda O’Neil, loneil@cmhaottawa.ca.  Spectators will be invited to join the performers on stage as “Spect-Actors” to rehearse transforming stigma scene by scene.

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7.  The Canadian Mental Health Association Ottawa is seeking help to promote its Erase the Difference campaign to raise awareness about the critical state of services and funding in the mental health and addictions sector.

For decades, mental health and addictions services in communities throughout Ontario have been chronically underfunded compared to other parts of the health system.  Wait times are up.  Programs have been cut.  People are falling through the cracks.  Ontario currently devotes $3.5 billion of a total $54-billion health budget to mental health and addictions.  The mental health and addictions share of the health budget is 6.5 per cent; in 1979, it was 11.3 per cent.

There is widespread acceptance about the urgent need for quality mental health and addiction services.  The Federal Government is providing an unprecedented amount of money for mental health and addictions services.  With a provincial election coming this spring, Ontario’s three main political parties all believe it’s a key issue.  Now is the time for all Ontarians who have been touched by mental health or addictions issues to make their voices heard.  The CMHA is asking help to let provincial election candidates know that it’s time to #erasethedifference and fund mental health and addictions care the same as physical health care.

See the attached Erase the Difference Partner Toolkit which contains digital communications material for posting to Websites and Social Media feeds to help with the campaign.

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8.  May 16

Reach Canada has announced a legal clinic to be held at Centre 454, 454 King Edward Avenue, on Wednesday, May 16, from 9:30 to 11:30 am, for individuals who wish to speak with a lawyer to get some free legal advice.  The types of legal advice offered will include landlord and tenant law, ODSP forms, Ontario Works, and legal documents.

For information, call 613-235-4351.

Reach Canada links persons with disabilities to legal professionals, provides three hours of free legal advice, arranges educational workshops on disability issues, develops working relationships with agencies to promote services for persons with disabilities, and develops partnerships with community agencies.

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9.  A System in Crisis: Fight for change in the next election

For over thirty years, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO) has worked to make sure mental health gets the funding it deserves.  The needs of families and individuals living with schizophrenia and psychosis should be included in the conversation about mental health services and funding.  By signing this petition, SSO will be able to show the government that people care and want to see change.

This election, help SSO call on the province to ensure every Ontarian’s right to access evidence-based mental health care, including those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis.

Ontario’s mental health and addictions system is in crisis.  For too long, we have been hearing how stigma and discrimination, system gaps, and other barriers to accessing mental health treatments and supports negatively affect individuals with schizophrenia and psychosis, especially when symptoms are severe and persistent.

People with schizophrenia and psychosis have a right to dignity, health, and good quality of life.  Now is the time to put these rights at the forefront of our conversation on mental health.

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10.  Canada-wide ADHD Education Campaign

When representatives of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC) meet with provincial Ministries of Education across Canada, they are told that their school boards are adequately meeting the needs of students with ADHD.  Is this true?

Elected representatives tell CADDAC that their constituents are not interested in this issue because they do not hear from them, but they do hear from families of children with other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Autism.  Is this true?

To bring awareness to these issues, you can:

  • meet with your MPP/MLA
  • write a letter to your MPP/MLA
  • write a letter to the editor of your local or regional paper.

If you do, copy CADDAC on your Email, or send a copy of your letter to advocacy@caddac.ca.  If interested in becoming involved in advocacy efforts in your province or nationally, also contact advocacy@caddac.ca.   Here is a 2018 Education Campaign Flyer to share with others, and here’s how to Become Involved.

Click here to see a full description of, and resources for, the current campaign.

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11.  June 6

The Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) has announced details of its 6th Annual Conference to take place on Wednesday, June 6, from 8 am to 4 pm at the Ottawa City Hall.  The theme of this year’s Conference is “Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.”

The goal of this year’s conference is to provide strategies and resources for employers to create a more inclusive workplace experience throughout the employee life cycle.  This will ensure that employers are equipped to attract and retain the best employees.  Additionally, EARN wants HR professionals and hiring managers to be able to recognize and reduce the systemic and attitudinal barriers that may exist around hiring a person with a disability, with some of this year’s conversation focused on mental health.

The Conference program includes a networking opportunity to help employers meet talented and experienced job seekers, as well as an employer focus group to discuss creating a better understanding of the barriers faced when hiring people with disabilities.

Continuing on the theme of Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, a panel including employers who have hired people with mental health disabilities and employees with lived experience will share their stories and strategies for success.

There is a registration fee to attend this Conference.  Click here for details and to register.

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NOTE: The Oasis in Kanata does not endorse the above sessions or programs, or their content, nor does it derive any benefit from the organizations involved, but merely wishes to bring the above to your attention.

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