A character study of mental illness and change

Monday, May 7th, 2012

May 6, 2012
“We do have a problem with perceptions of dangerousness among people with mental illnesses… We know that prisons, jails, are the last great asylums of North America for people with mental illness”… At the same time… a shift in public attitudes to mental health has opened vast new possibilities for progress all across the spectrum of mental health… Big philanthropy has followed suit…. “This is about managing risk. You can’t control genes, you can’t pick your parents. But genes are not absolute destiny… The extent to which stigma, illiteracy or shame stops people from checking things out is a tragedy.”

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A rocky road to ‘recovery’ [mental health]

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Oct. 8, 2011
Since a draft of its national strategy on mental health was leaked this summer, the [Mental Health Commission of Canada] has been squirming under accusations of dysfunction, anti-psychiatry bias and neglect of the most serious mental illnesses. Critics point out the 30page document mentions “recovery” 67 times and “support” 125 times, but there is no reference to “psychiatry.” Or “schizophrenia” or “bipolar.” … the agency’s chief executive, promised to “correct” the strategy before its planned release next year, because “the current draft does not sufficiently reflect the essential role neuroscience, treatment and psychiatry have to play.”

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Ontario woman entitled to sympathy, not benefits, court rules

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Sep 9, 2011
An Ontario court has scolded the province’s Social Benefits Tribunal for giving disability benefits to a mother of four who did not even try to work, and had only minor or easily treated ailments… Under the law, a person is disabled if and only if they have a continuous or recurring physical or mental impairment, verified by an expert and expected to last a year or more, that results in a “substantial restriction” in their ability to function in the community and workplace.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | 4 Comments »

Draft report calls for reduction of suicide stigma

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Jul 19, 2011
The goal, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, should be a “cultural shift toward recovery,” which favours real improvement over ideal cure, and is informed by “multiple sources of knowledge,” including the traditions of restorative justice and the hard-won wisdom of people in recovery… The strategy acknowledges the federal government’s arm’s-length role in health-care delivery, but argues that mental health is not purely a health issue, as it also involves criminal justice, housing, finance and child services.

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Mental block: Opposers of Mad Pride protest anti-psychiatrist

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Dec. 18, 2010
Professor Neree St-Amand… has a view of mental illness that is common in his academic field, but at odds with the mainstream. He thinks psychiatrists aim to control people, who then become fat and suicidal, with no libido, hating themselves… He thinks psychiatrists mislead the mentally ill about the risks and benefits of drugs, discouraging them against other options, such as spirituality, nutrition and yoga. He is blunt… “If people cared for their people, then it changes a lot of the problems.”

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